Concept Note

The Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, and the Science, Technology and International Relations (STIR) Programme,   National Institute of Advanced Studies in India, are jointly organizing an online research workshop on the emerging Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean titled Examining Indian and Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean on November 2, 2022.

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) was long predicted to be at the “center stage” of great powers’ rivalries in the 21st century. The region is abundant with natural resources and enjoys a strategic position in the global commerce channel. As the economic and strategic interests of regional powerhouses India and China intersect in the region, the two are witnessing a difficult relationship in the maritime realm. China is increasingly perceived to acquire control and allegiances by employing geo-economics with developing littoral and Island states. Under Beijing’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative, the dual-use infrastructure is seen as threatening the regional status quo and a danger to ensuring the free passage of trade and energy. The current Sri Lanka Crisis has raised a lot of chatter about the roles and relationship of India and China in the IOR.

The workshop with two panels is a timely collaboration between India and Taiwan. The two panels will contemplate the following significant questions concerning the future of peace and security in the Indian Ocean region:

  • How to define the Indian Ocean region and its rise? What has contributed to the rise of the region? What are the major trends on the rise? How do China and India pursue the IOR region? What are their main objectives? What are their main strategies? What is the endgame of these two countries in the IOR region?
  • What is likely to be the nature of the relationship between India and China in the IOR region? Will it be competitive, conflictual, or both?  What are the potential flashpoints? Can both counties find common areas of coordination and develop a cooperative mechanism?
  • How does the rest of the countries in the IOR region look at the above? Are there synergies? How do IOR states respond to the establishment of influence by both powers?

The workshop will serve as a brainstorming platform for young researchers interested in South Asia and China’s increasing regional influence. Through such debates, we hope to see how strategic interactions between China and India in IOR will shape the security environment in the region and discuss whether the situation will lead to conflict or cooperation in the future.

The objective of this collaborative platform is to provide participants with comprehensive insights on the subject matter and to formulate a plan for research collaborations in the future. It also aims to enhance young scholars’ authority as critical thinkers and writers.

The workshop will be conducted in an open discussion format, with students’ presentations divided into two-panel sessions, with 3 – 4 presentations at each session. Presentations will be followed by a brief set of oral comments by designated discussants and additional discussion among the participants and departments’ faculties. The workshop is expected to last three hours.

Selected presented papers will be edited and published on the websites of the Center for Studies on South Asia and the Middle East, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, and National Institute of Advanced Studies as commentaries or briefs.

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