Call for Proposals
Navigating China's Economic and Military Rise

Country Perspectives from South Asia
FNF South Asia logo

FNF South Asia logo

© FNF South Asia


The rise of China has significant implications for South Asia in terms of opportunities and challenges. Economically, China's growth as the world's second-largest economy has made it a key trading partner and investor for South Asian countries. Despite complex relations, India has experienced substantial economic and trade growth with China. Other countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative and also try and strengthen people-to-people relations with China.  South Asian nations actively engage with China for economic and strategic benefits.

However, this economic engagement also brings challenges and concerns. South Asian nations have raised issues related to trade imbalances, competition for domestic industries, and potential debt burdens associated with Chinese investments. The strategic implications of China's military growth, modernization of its armed forces, and expanding naval capabilities are other critical aspects. South Asian countries, especially India, monitor China's military activities and seek regional power balance through alliances with influential powers.

Given the context of opportunities and risks, how do South Asian countries view China's economic and military growth, and how are they navigating their engagements with China to promote their own interests, protect their values, and ensure regional stability? To comprehend these intricate interrelationships, the Regional Office of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is creating eight policy papers, each focusing on a specific South Asian country. These papers examine how countries perceive China's economic and military expansion, analyze the opportunities, implications, and challenges within their own contexts, and offer policy recommendations for South Asian countries when engaging with China.

Scope of work

The author will be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Write a country-specific policy research paper analyzing China's economic and military expansion, opportunities, implications, challenges, and policy recommendations for engaging with China
  • The total length of the paper should be 2500 – 3000 words (exclusive of citations, references, organization profile, and author’s profile)
  • Submit the first draft of the paper by 30 September 2023, and submit the final draft by 15 October 2023, after incorporating our comments. Feedback/Editing could go through multiple rounds.
  • Amongst the selected abstracts, one author will be invited to present in front of an international audience in Colombo in September 2023 (details will be communicated in due course).


  • Relevant work/educational experience of at least 5 years in the field of International Relations, Economy and Trade, Geopolitics, Foreign Policy, and other related fields
  • Knowledge of the South Asian policy processes and political landscape
  • Experience in primary and secondary research projects independently
  • Demonstrated proficiency in high-quality succinct error-free writing in English
  • Ability to articulate research content to varying audiences in English
  • Ability to process vast amounts of information and generate valuable insights quickly
  • Ability to communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner and adapt messages to different interlocutors, including government partners, policy influencers, team members, researchers, partner organizations, and donors

Prescribed Style

  • FNF will provide the authors with a template for the policy paper to follow
  • FNF follows Chicago Citation/Referencing Style
  • Use footnotes instead of in-text citations. Do not hyperlink

How to apply

Young scholars, career diplomats, and early-career academicians are encouraged to submit their 500-word abstract, CV, and quotation not exceeding 950 Euros to, by 23th July 2023. Only selected authors will be contacted.