August 1st 2022

On August 1st, Taiwan Center for Security Studies jointly held a virtual panel discussion with Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies (KIIPS) on the contemporary rise of China and its actions and implications for the Indo-Pacific, attracting over 30 listeners from multiple countries.

The distinguished speakers from India and Taiwan exchanged insightful ideas and prognoses about the phenomenon at hand, underlining the vast complexity of the so-called rise of China. As pointed out by the panelists, its intricacy implies several dynamic developments in economic, territorial, military, as well as civilizational terms.

In his welcoming remarks as chair of the panel, Dr. Monish Tourangbam stressed that the rise of a nation state must not be framed as exclusively negative per se, however issues and challenges ought to always be considered and discussed. Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu, director of TCSS, echoed this perspective and brought up the unique situation in which Taiwan finds itself at the moment, caught between the ambitions of two global superpowers. He also pointed out that many stakeholders on the global stage also find themselves overshadowed by the clash of two superpowers, constraining them to take sides. This year, the trend is exacerbated as China is in the process of setting up its second foreign military base in Solomon Islands, challenging the USA’s military dominance.

As the first speaker of the evening, Dr. Mignonne Chan shed light on the fundamental differences regarding the ideas of governance and general worldview that there is often a dichotomy between the US and China. Following her statement, Dr. Chintamani Mahapatra unraveled the novelty of the Chinese approach to both domestic economy and foreign policy, especially considering grand-scale projects like the Belt and Road Initiative. Next, Dr. Ming-Shih Shen provided a detailed insight into the military dimension of a rising China, calling attention to how sheer military and technological power is being utilized as a means to an end on the global stage. Last but not least, Dr. Srikanth Kondapalli applauded Dr. Shen’s analyses and shared his knowledge on the strategy that China is employing in its growing areas of influences.

In the following Q&A session, the speakers shared their expertise about questions raised by the audience, ranging from identity, culture and all the way to military assessments. The overall diversity of the questions echoed once again the complexity of today’s topic.

The webinar concluded with a word of thanks by Dr. Mansi and both TCSS and KIIPS underscoring the willingness to further facilitate on the fruitful cooperation in the future.