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Dynamics of Change

Sanjeev Kumar

Edited by D. Suba Chandran, Teshu Singh and Namrata Hasija
Samskriti, New Delhi, 2013, pp. 162, Rs. 550.00


The later 2012 and early 2013 marked a major milestone in China when high level leadership changes took place in both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Government. The changes have enormous implications for China’s internal developments as well as foreign policy and regional security. The book under review on China’s new leadership, social changes and economic challenges edited and written by young scholars of India is an outcome of collaboration among important institutions of China studies in India, namely the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi and the Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. The importance of such initiative is huge in the context of the extremely limited number of works by Indian scholars on China’s internal dynamics. The book focuses on a number of China’s important domestic social, political, ethnic and economic issues, and enriches debate on the subject.   The challenges related to demographic dividend in China are highlighted, bringing attention to ‘the alarming crisis’ which will largely define China in this century. Two burning social issues in China are the growing migrant unrest and the phenomenon of missing girls. The first problem is related to the hukou system and the issue of rampant corruption at the local level. The paper argues that the failure of these reforms has given rise to unrest in China. The paper on missing girls provides excellent data and analysis on a lesser known issue in India.   A discussion of ethnic minorities in China is followed by an analysis of separatism in Xinjiang and China’s ‘strike hard campaigns’ and argues that for different reasons, the separatist discourse domestically in China as well as internationally is overvalued. The Uighur separatism is looked at from the perspective of stability discourse. The paper on Greater Tibet analyses the discourse on cultural nationalism while showing the futility of ‘strike hard campaign’; suggesting that the solution lies in the form of ‘genuine autonomy’ as raised by the present Dalai Lama.   There is hardly any mention of problems faced by Tibet and Xinjiang in the recent Party documents likethe 18th National Congress of the CPC and the Third Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee. A continuation of status quo would not solve the issue, there should be a serious attempt by the government/ Party to address the sense of alienation ...

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