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Asia Update

January 2016

Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into important developments in the region.


Asia Briefing 30. November 2015

Modi’s Reform Agenda: A Toothless Tiger?

Promising radical economic reforms and a corruption free government, Narendra Modi captured the imagination of millions of Indians who had had enough of the scandal ridden congress led UPA government and came to power on a historical mandate. A year and a half later, India has implemented a few reforms, but the promised radical changes are yet to see the light of day. A panel discussion on Modi’s economic reforms was organised on the 30th November 2015 in cooperation with the journal Internationale Politik in Berlin. The panel of well-known experts from academia, politics and media included Dr Sandra Destradi (senior fellow, German Institute of Global and Area Studies), Mr Michael Steiner (former German ambassador to India) and Mr Raghavan Srinivasan (senior associate editor of The Hindu Businessline). Read the report and watch the interviews here


Essay by Tridivesh Singh Maini

Why New Delhi and Islamabad Need to Get Stakeholders on Board

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impromptu stopover at Lahore on December 25, 2015, on his way back from Moscow and Kabul further provided hope for improved India-Pakistan relations, reinforcing earlier signs from 2015. Interest in Pakistan cuts across party affiliations in the Indian Punjab. It is much the same story on the other side though the Pakistani Punjab is often hamstrung by political and military considerations. The border States in India and Pakistan have business, cultural and familial ties that must be harnessed by both governments to push the peace process, says Tridivesh Singh Maini. Read the article, courtesy of the Hindu Center for Public Policy, here


Soft Power

China's Cultural Clout

China is not only an economic powerhouse and political world power, it also has considerable soft power - even without a Chinese McDonalds or Coca Cola. Bernhard Bartsch, Senior Expert at the Bertelmann Stiftung, argues that we all have an instinctive understanding of Chinese culture, acquired through watching Kung Fu movies, eating Chinese food, adoring Pandas or following news about Chinese dissidents. Read the article here



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Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


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