EVENTS

VP Dutt Memorial Lecture | India as Teacher by Negative Example: Chinese Perceptions of India During the British Colonial Period and Their Impact on Contemporary India-China Relations

07 Oct 2020
Amb. Shyam Saran
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 6:00 PM

Abstract 

The history of ancient civilizational links between India and China, including the spread of Buddhist religion and philosophy from India to China, are often cited as the enduring basis for India-China friendship. However, contemporary India-China relations have been much more influenced by Chinese encounters with British imperialism, with Indians playing the role of subordinate instruments of British depredations in China, including the dumping of opium on China. India was held up by Chinese intellectuals as a teacher by negative example, its easy subjugation by the British being the result of its stagnant and stratified society, its fragmented and disunited polity and a slavish temperament among its people. China would need to avoid these dangers if it were to regain its full independence and modernisation. These perceptions persist and influence Chinese policy towards India in contemporary times and need careful analysis.  

About the Speaker 

Amb. Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary of India and has served as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change. After leaving government service in 2010, he has headed the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a prestigious think tank focusing on economic issues (2011-2017) and was Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council (2013-15). He is currently Life Trustee of India International Centre, Member of the Governing Council/Board of the Institute of Chinese Studies and Centre for Policy Research, a Trustee at the World Wildlife Fund (India) and Member of the Executive Council of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).He has recently published a book, How India Sees the World. Shyam Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, in 2011 for his contributions to civil service. In May 2019, he was conferred the Spring Order Gold and Silver Star by the Emperor of Japan for promoting India-Japan relations.  

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  • The history of ancient civilizational links between India and China, including the spread of Buddhist religion and philosophy from India to China, are often cited as the enduring basis for India-China friendship.

  • The history of ancient civilizational links between India and China, including the spread of Buddhist religion and philosophy from India to China, are often cited as the enduring basis for India-China friendship.

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