17 February 2021
Changing Dynamics of India-China Relations

BRICs Seminar 2020-2021 | Wednesday, 17 of February

Next Session of the BRICs Seminar (February 17th, 3PM, online)

Here is the webform to participate


Gulshan Sachdeva, Jawalarlal Nehru University

Abstract of the presentation:

Both India and China are undergoing profound societal transformations. Both are expected to play an important role in the evolving Asian economic and security architectures. Since both are rising powers in the same part of the world, there are bound to be tensions. The border standoff since May 2020 has brought relations to the lowest point in recent decades. The Sino-American escalation has also coincided with New Delhi’s own difficulties in managing its ties with Beijing. Despite serious bilateral military and diplomatic engagements, the situation remains tense.

Like their counterparts in most other Asian countries, one of the biggest challenges for Indian policy makers is to manage its ties with Beijing. At the moment, there is still a huge asymmetry between two economies. Many scholars have posited that India-China relations consist of four Cs: conflict, competition, cooperation and containment. These dynamics over the years are reflected through border incidents, increasing trade, competition for influence in many regions as well as cooperative conversations through multilateral (BRICS, SCO) and bilateral settings. In recent decades, both did not allow border dispute to affect other bilateral engagements.

As China’s economic might and maritime footprint become more significant, India’s position is being challenged, even in South Asia. Traditionally, South Asian region was considered to be an Indian area of influence. China tried to balance this reality by forging a closer strategic cooperative framework with Pakistan. The China-Pakistan nexus restrains New Delhi’s options in South and Central Asia. The US exit from Afghanistan will increase complications further. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects are now further accelerating the Chinese expansion. Although many South and Central Asian countries have joined the initiative, Indian official narrative concerning the BRI remains negative. The sovereignty related issues concerning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and broader geopolitical implications within the Indian Ocean region have overshadowed other aspects of the BRI in Indian discussions. India’s participation in the BRICS, SCO and the AIIB had relatively little impact on New Delhi’s perception of the BRI. In fact, the BCIM corridor, which was graduated to Track I in 2013 has rather become victim of the BRI geopolitics. Although many independent analysts argued for a selective participation in the BRI, this hardly reflected in government policy. Border tensions have further pushed these discussions into the background.

Increasing Chinese economic and naval presence in neighbouring regions and the Indian Ocean has pushed New Delhi to sharpen its strategic engagements with the United States and within the Indo-Pacific region. It has developed partnership with the ASEAN. Along with the Australia, Japan and the US, it is actively participating in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD). As a result of recent border tensions, India has banned a large number of Chinese apps and is also putting special provisions to monitor Chinese investments. This approach emphasises a determination to decouple the Indian economy from China. The policy is an integral part of Atamanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan ( Self-Reliant India campaign). The developing situation in India-China ties will have serious implications not just for the future of BRICS but also for the for the Asian and global balance of power.


Seminar on line

Wednesday, 17th of February
3pm - 5pm



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About the speaker:

Prof Gulshan Sachdeva is Jean Monnet Chair; Coordinator, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Chairperson, Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also Editor-in-Chief, International Studies (SAGE) and Book Series Editor on Europe-Asia Connectivity (Palgrave Macmillan). He has been consultant with the ADB, ILO and the Asia Foundation. His research is focused on European integration, India’s external engagements, Eurasian connectivity, Afghanistan, Indian Northeast and development cooperation.
Some of his recent publications include Challenges in Europe: Indian Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan), India in a Reconnecting Eurasia (Washington: CSIS) and Evaluation of the EU-India Strategic Partnership and the Potential for its Revitalization (Brussels: European Parliament). He has been visiting faculty at many European universities (Antwerp, Corvinus, KU Leuven, Trento, UPF Barcelona and Warsaw etc). He holds PhD in Economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.


Mutations of capital? Nature and Value in the ecological crisis

What role does nature play and how to consider the effects of the socio-ecological crisis to understanding capitalist expansion today?

Eco-Marxist approaches point to a structural contradiction in capitalism’s relationship to nature, which may lead to a non-return crisis of reproduction, due to the ever-increasing costs capital has to bear to regenerate a non-fully renewable environment. This analysis seems all the more appropriate when considering the importance that the issue of ecological limits to growth has gained within social struggles, political demands, and capitalist recomposition strategies. Yet, such dynamics also reveal the attempt to take over environmental criticalities by transforming them into new market opportunities. Under this framework, capitalism seems to be moving toward the complete integration of nature by means of the primary valorization of reproductive capacities of inorganic and organic matter, including human and animal bodies.

Exploring the nature-value nexus allows us to address the mechanisms, implications and impacts of such a move. It also leads us to ask how rethinking the role of reproduction and of non-human and biologic productivity can provide a way not simply to update Marxist or anthropocentric thinking, but also to challenge the logics that sustains capitalist accumulation, opening to a posthuman understanding of production and to the appreciation of multi-species forms of co-dependence. Do we need a more than a human understanding of value?


Programme 2019-2020


Seminar organised by Maura Benegiamo, postdoctoral fellow under the Chair Ecology, Labor, Employment and Social Policy
Sessions in French


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Seminar of the Ecology, Work, Employment chair

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Ecology, Work, Employment
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Chercheurs associés: 
Dominique Méda
Florence Jany-Catrice
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