Our Podcast The ORCA Files holds conversations with our Community of Scholars for a greater
understanding of all things China.
For this episode of the ORCA Files, Ratish Mehta, Research Associate at ORCA,
speaks with Dr. Monish Tourangbam on the growing India- U.S bilateral engagement
in recent years. Dr. Monish traces the relationship trajectory from the Cold War
period to its current stature and elaborates on various points in time where
cooperation has taken prominence between the two countries. The discussion also
brings to light specific sectors and regions in which both New Delhi and
Washington can convert their convergence into cooperation, especially in South
Asia. Dr. Tourangbam also draws attention to some structural divergences that
India and the US face as well as how such differences can be mitigated against,
favour of the broader convergence of interests.
You can read his recent paper on the India-US-China Triangle in South Asia:
Competition Drives Adaptation by clicking -
In this episode of The ORCA Files, Omkar Bhole from ORCA speaks with Ms. Melissa
Conley Tyler from University Melbourne about the significance of think tanks in
modern diplomacy and the role these institutions play during crisis situations.
She defines think tanks as institutions that try to influence quality of
policymaking in a country by producing intellectual outputs as well as perform
diplomatic functions like communicating with counterparts from other countries and
promoting their country's interests globally. She expresses the need for think
tanks to work for bridging the gap between common citizens and policymakers by
engaging more with them especially in niche fields like international relations.
Ms. Melissa also delves into the functioning of Chinese think tanks in a
state-controlled environment and the role they play in promoting China’s views
globally by engaging with other think tanks.
In this episode of The ORCA Files, host and Director of ORCA, Eerishika Pankaj sits
down with Richard Bitzinger for a captivating conversation about the state and
progress of China's military modernization program. They talk about the features
of modernization: intelligentisation, indegenisation of emerging technologies,
civil-military integration and the political rules governing the appointment of
personnel in the military. The insights presented by Richard Bitzinger provide a
comprehensive overview of the CMC's role in military technology innovation, the
emphasis of modernization reforms and where China is headed this decade. The
conversation covers several themes detailed in Richard Bitzinger's latest book
written with Dr. Yoram Evron, "The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Military-Civil
Fusion". Access it here.
In this episode of The ORCA Files, host Ahana Roy engages in an insightful
discussion with two esteemed guests, Lam Tran and Akshat Singh from CSIS, to
explore the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IA-ECTA) and
its implications for both nations and the region as well. Lam and Akshat delve
into the key provisions of the agreement, the sectors likely to benefit, and how
it addresses challenges like talent shortages and manufacturing base expansion for
Australia. The conversation also sheds light on China's coercive economic measures
and their impact on countries like Australia and India and how the IA-ECTA could
empower these nations to mitigate vulnerabilities. The discussion concluded with
the recent visit by Indian PM Narendra Modi to the US and how the IA-ECTA can
align with broader Indo-US partnership goals of diversifying supply chains and
fostering economic resilience. You can read read the CSIS article on this topic
In this episode, Omkar Bhole from ORCA speaks to Mr. Manoj Kewalramani on the
recent visits of
China’s defense and foreign ministers to India as a part of SCO delegation. He
expectations from these visits and whether or not these expectations were met. The
details the coverage of these visits by Chinese media and scholarly community
which also offers
insights into China’s perception of India, especially within the regional
multilateral forums. Mr.
Manoj elaborates on the overall significance of the SCO in the context of
relations and argues that India’s foreign policy faces the challenge to balance
vis-à-vis China’s anti-Western rhetoric manifested through regional institutions.
He also talks
about Xi Jinping’s potential visit to India later this year and its impact on
especially on border issues.
In this episode, Rahul Karan Reddy from ORCA speaks to Dr. Manpreet Sethi on her
recently published article titled, ‘China’s Nuclear Build-up: Implications for
India’. Dr. Sethi explains the context for the latest developments surrounding
China’s nuclear weapons program, detailing the factors that explain China’s
decision to enhance the survivability of its nuclear arsenal. Dr. Sethi discusses
how the latest developments influence the nuclear posture of other East Asian
states like Japan and South Korea, who face an increasingly belligerent North
Korea and share apprehensions about China’s military posture. For India, Dr. Sethi
argues that the focus ought to be on enhancing conventional capabilities rather
than engaging in an action-reaction spiral with China. Click here to read Dr.
Sethi’s article mentioned in the podcast.
In this episode, Omkar Bhole from ORCA speaks with Ratish Mehta on his recently
published opinion piece titled “India and the Global Divide in Sanctions against
Russian Oil”. Ratish elaborates on the objectives of the sanctions and why
differing perceptions exist on the same. The discussion ranges from the impact of
the sanctions on India and the global south as well to how China and India have
reacted to the sanctions. Ratish observes that India’s position has brought forth
a larger dilemma to India’s foreign policy understanding with regard to its
attempt of balancing two of its immediate core interests.
In this episode, Omkar Bhole from ORCA speaks with Commodore C Uday Bhaskar on the
topic of India-China competition in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Commodore
Bhaskar elaborates on China’s assertiveness in IOR as a result of its rising
maritime strength. The discussion ranges from China’s growing naval expenditure
especially on modernization, to its surveillance ship being docked at Hambantota
port in Sri Lanka. Commodore Bhaskar opines that all these developments have
created serious security concerns for India and it must act soon to counter
China’s maritime challenge in the IOR.
In this episode, Dr. Jagannath Panda and Dr. Bali Deepak engage in a discussion on
the significance of the 20th National Party Congress for China and the world in
ORCA’s 1st Expert Scholars” Dialogue. Both speakers talk about various dynamics of
China’s domestic politics and also elaborate on expected personnel changes at the
upcoming 20th Party Congress. Dr. Panda and Dr. Deepak bring out possible
implications of Party Congress on China’s economy, its foreign policy and on
India-China relations, in particular. The issues discussed during this dialogue
include BRI, China’s poverty alleviation programme and China’s great power
diplomacy among many others.
In this episode, Siddhant Nair speaks to ORCA’s Research Associate, Omkar Bhole.
They discuss his publication titled “Chinese Domestic Responses to Pelosi’s Taiwan
Visit”. Omkar elaborates on how Party officials and leaders have reacted to
Pelosi’s visit, highlighting that many have reacted sharply to the visit, sharing
their views along with the Party line. He also shows how Chinese citizens have
reacted to Pelosi’s visit, pointing out that the Party has had to pacify public
pressure to intensify the reunification process with Taiwan and how people want it
to be done as quickly as possible. Despite that, China cannot act too quickly in
forcefully reunifying Taiwan, as it could antagonize the world and poses a danger
to China’s post-pandemic recovery.
In this episode, Siddhant Nair from ORCA speaks to Anushka Saxena on her
publication with us titled “Can China Emulate Russian Aggression in Taiwan?”.
Elaborating her views on the issue, Ms. Saxena talks about how the US’s response
to the Russia-Ukraine war shaped Chinese views on reunification with Taiwan and
the global impact of western sanctions on China. She also talks about the historic
and political importance of reunification of Taiwan, and how Taiwan and China
perceive the “Taiwan issue”. She ends the podcast by giving an insight into what
Taiwan’s reunification with China will look like by drawing examples from Hong
In this episode, Ahana Roy from ORCA speaks to Mahima Duggal, about the history of
‘Common Prosperity’ and how it has evolved under the Chinese communist ideology.
Ms. Duggal also talks about how Xi has used “Common Prosperity” as a tool to
expand his power and influence across China, portraying himself as a “one of the
people” against the corruption of the elites. She also expresses her views on what
“Common Prosperity” will look like after the 20th Party Congress, should Xi be
re-elected for his third term.
In this episode, Ahana Roy from ORCA speaks to Jay Maniyar about the latter’s
publication with us on middle powers and maritime security in the IOR. Mr. Maniyar
elaborates on what constitutes a middle power, the role middle powers can play in
an IOR security architecture and how India can enhance its maritime security
capabilities to counter China’s IOR geo-economic architecture.
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