The Asia Research Institute (ARI) at National University of Singapore (NUS) has announced the launch of the Asian Peace Programme (APP) to spearhead policy research towards peace efforts in the region.
The initiative is spearheaded by ARI Distinguished Fellow and former diplomat Kishore Mahbubani.
The APP aims to put forth implementable policy solutions that could ameliorate conflicts in Asia. It will be launching a monthly series of short, policy-relevant research papers that will throw new light on some of the difficult and unsettled conflicts in Asia.
Its first policy paper on “China and India: A New Diplomacy”, launched July 1, was written by Professor Kanti Bajpai. The paper examined China-India relations which oft-late have seen tensions rising, in particular along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh which saw a recent military clash of June 15.
Prof Bajpai noted that differences between the two nations have not been resolved over several decades, despite negotiations before and after the war in 1962 and stressed that the LAC must be stabilised.
In his paper, he suggested that rather than pursuing a settlement of the border or insist on defining the LAC to the satisfaction of both parties, India and China should aim for a new structure of diplomacy. This, he noted, would rework the erstwhile diplomacy between both countries and tackle the problem of patrolling transgressions in fourteen key “pockets” where tensions tend to flare along the vast frontier.
"The APP will therefore serve a useful purpose in providing suggestions for helping to defuse potentially painful and dangerous conflicts in the region. The recent flare-ups at the China-India border and on the Korean Peninsula demonstrate the urgency of such a programme," said Mahbubani.
Having served twice as Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), including President of the UN Security Council, and as the Founding Dean of the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Mahbubani is recognised internationally as an expert on Asian and international affairs.