Opinion pieces by senior scholars in the field of China and Asia studies

ASEAN has recently taken several initiatives and plans to uplift the region’s status as a digitized socio-economic space. This commentary looks at ASEAN’s cooperation with China and India, two of its important partners, in ensuring the region’s digital transformation.

Strategic depth is that space between the frontlines or borders of a nation and its centers of gravity, essentially its industrial hubs or important population centres. In recent times this definition has been given a political dimension wherein installation of favourable governments in the immediate neighbourhood also facilitates strategic depth. For instance, Pakistan’s obsession with strategic depth is premised on its perceived threat from India and seeks to control the regime and space in Afghanistan to achieve this depth.

China has been extremely successful in converting its economic power into geopolitical influence  with astonishing success worldwide. It is with such confidence that China has been trying to dent the EU unity for the last few months by economically bullying Lithuania, an EU member over the latter’s stand on Taiwan.

China’s support to Russia can be seen as part of Beijing’s larger strategy to undermine the US global influence. With the US having labelled Beijing and Moscow as its competitors, there exists a shared interest between China and Russia to strive for a redistribution of global power.


As Beijing’s power has grown, China’s influence operations have increasingly targeted the democratic world. The author seeks to analyse the strategies China uses to implement such operations, focusing on the ‘why’ behind its actions with India as the key target example.