The annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) in China that lays down economic policy priorities for the coming year took place from 19-21 December 2018. The effects of the trade war with the US was apparent with Xi Jinping noting that the ‘The achievements we have made have not come easily’ and that ‘the external environment is complicated and severe, and the economy faces downward pressure’. This pessimistic note was in marked contrast to the previous year’s CEWC and when at the beginning of the trade war, Chinese official media claimed that the Chinese economy was ‘resilient enough to cope’.
Originally published as जबिन टी. जैकब, ‘बदलाव की राह पर चीन’, Dainik Jagran, 12 March 2014, p. 8.
As India announced elections to the next Lok Sabha, the annual session of China’s equivalent of the lower house of parliament, the National People’s Congress, got underway on 5 March. Premier Li Keqiang as head of the State Council, the Chinese cabinet of ministers, presented his government’s first Work Report. This exercise shares somewhat the same level of importance that the presentation of the Union Budget sees in India, but covers a wider range of issues.
First published as जेबीन टी जैकब, ‘सीपीसी के विरोधाभासी संदेशों का बंडल’, Business Bhaskar (New Delhi), 28 November 2013, p. 4.
(Original text in English follows below)
कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी ऑफ चाइना (सीपीसी) की 18 वीं सेंट्रल कमिटी की तीसरी प्लेनरी (विशेषाधिकार प्राप्त महत्वपूर्ण और वरिष्ठ सदस्यों की सभा) इस महीने आयोजित हुई। इस प्लीनम (महासभा) में सेंट्रल कमिटी के 205 सदस्यों के अलावा 171 अन्य सदस्य होते हैं जो महत्वपूर्ण नीतिगत मसलों पर चर्चा कर किसी नतीजे पर पहुंचते हैं। किसी भी सेंट्रल कमिटी की तीसरी प्लीनम का महत्व इसलिए है कि नया नेतृत्व प्राय: इसका उपयोग अपनी नई आर्थिक नीतियों की घोषणा करने के अवसर के रूप में करता है।
Xi Jinping has, as expected, taken over as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its 18th National Congress. The new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) also includes Li Keqiang (like Xi, a member of the previous PBSC), Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli.
Representing the fifth-generation of China’s communist leaders after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi and his team have some onerous tasks to gear up to. While the rest of the world, including India, can often focus only on China’s increasing global economic imprint and its rapid military modernization, for China’s leaders themselves the most important concerns have always been domestic ones. And of these, none are as important as the ones about maintaining social stability and the necessity of political reform.
The new PBSC is widely perceived by Western and Chinese observers as being short of genuine political reformers. Further, quite a few on the new PBSC – including Xi himself – have depended on their identity as members of elite communist families to rise to their current posts. In this sense, there is much similarity with the Indian political scene. The cabinet reshuffle by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month for example, had several young representatives of India’s own elite political families climbing into more senior positions.
(original version in English follows below Malayalam text)
ദശാബ്ദത്തിലൊരിക്കല് നടക്കുന്ന നേതൃമാറ്റം പൂര്ത്തീകരിച്ച് ചൈനീസ് കമ്യൂണിസ്റ്റ്പാര്ട്ടി (സി.പി.സി.)യുടെ 18-ാം കോണ്ഗ്രസ് ഈയിടെ ബെയ്ജിങ്ങില് സമാപിച്ചല്ലോ. ഹു ജിന്താവോയ്ക്കുകീഴില് പ്രവര്ത്തിച്ച നാലാംതലമുറ നേതൃത്വം ഷി ജിന്പിങ്ങിനുപിന്നില് അണിനിരക്കുന്ന അഞ്ചാംതലമുറയ്ക്ക് ചുമതല കൈമാറി. ചൈനയുടെ രാഷ്ട്രീയവും സാമ്പത്തികവും സൈനികവുമായ വളര്ച്ചയെ ലോകം ആരാധനയോടെയോ അങ്കലാപ്പോടെയോ നോക്കിക്കാണുമ്പോഴും രാജ്യം നേരിടുന്ന നിരവധി ആഭ്യന്തര വെല്ലുവിളികളിലാണ് സി.പി.സി.യുടെ 18-ാം കോണ്ഗ്രസ് ശ്രദ്ധയൂന്നിയത്.
Original Presentation: “The States in India and Foreign Policy: Interests, Influence and Implications,” L’équipe Politiques comparées et études européennes, SPIRIT, Sciences Po, Bordeaux, 9 April 2010.
Summary: This presentation focuses on an important political dynamic that while in play for some time now, has begun to have visible impact only in recent years. I am referring to the growing power and influence of the provinces/states in India with respect to national decisions, including foreign policy. The presentation actually begins with a short examination of the same phenomenon in China because it has in a sense been going on in that country for much longer.
And I hope that what I say will sort of ring a bell or remind you of some experiences that you know of in your own countries, while remembering the differences in context and historical development, when things sound either very obvious or very different. In India, meanwhile, there is increasing work being carried out on centre-province relations in India in the post-1990 or post-liberalization/economic reforms phase but a lot of this work is related to fiscal transfers and the like and much of the attention is also focused on matters such as countering terrorism and left-wing extremism (because law and order is actually, a provincial or state subject) and more recently on education (Right to Education legislation; education too, is a state subject).
This presentation however, focuses on only one aspect of the centre-province relations in India and that is the nature of influence that provinces exercise on national foreign policymaking.
See the full presentation at: