PIC hosted Dr. Anoop Singh, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University for the latest edition of PIC Conversation held on 15th December. The event was chaired by Amb. Gautam Bambawale, Trustee, PIC. Dr. Singh outlined three broad issues, namely, China’s recovery from COVID, 5th Plenum and the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) and where China wants to be during the next 5 to 15 years and emerging trade agreements and their implications for China as well as India.

Dr. Singh emphasised that China is a complex economy and said that the new numbers showed that growth in November continued to exceed expectations, as it had for the preceding months. China has been the only country, given its quarterly growth rates, to show positive growth in the entire world – which he attributed to the appreciation of the Chinese Renminbi and high levels of public investment. Dr. Singh briefly provided an overview of China’s objectives over the next 15 years including becoming a high-income nation with an average of USD 12,500 per capita income by 2025, maintaining real growth at over 2 per cent, becoming a moderately developed economy by 2035 (which entails reaching an average USD 20,000 per capita income level), and by its 100th anniversary in 2049, to become a fully developed, rich and powerful nation.

However, despite their successes and domestic rebalancing of policy, Dr. Singh noted that China does seem to be rethinking its external investments – specifically in the BRI, as it has realised it is not getting the response it had expected on it. This also has an impact on the trade agreements China has been pursuing, namely the RCEP. India must be able to step in and take up the space that is not covered by the trade agreements that China has not been able to cinch.

The talk was followed by a round of questions and answers with the audience.