East Asia Digest by Ambassador Gautam Bambawale | February 2021

Ananta Aspen Centre  |  

I Overview


  • India – China begin disengaging in one sector of Ladakh
  • China publicly admits that 4 soldiers including an officer of the PLA died at Galwan on 15 June 2020
  • Biden has telephone conversation with Xi but meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers also takes place
  • China prepares for its annual Parliament meeting or “Two Sessions”
  • US Navy ship sails through Taiwan Strait; China says this undermines stability


  • Japan appoints a Minister for Loneliness
  • Seiko Hashimoto takes charge of Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee
  • Japan’s economy recovers from pandemic slump

South Korea:

  • Japan renews claims on South-Korea held island
  • South Korea expected to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
  • US President Biden calls South Korean President Moon
  • South Korea Trade Minister drops bid to become WTO Director General

Hong Kong:

  • Dozens of leading HK democrats charged with subversion
  • 70% of HK teachers support revamp of liberal studies 


  • President Tsai says Taiwan’s freedom and democracy are not to be traded

II Developments in China

1.    India – China begin disengaging in one sector of Ladakh

After yet another round of talks in Ladakh between the a