Faculty > Director


Mr Ashok K. Kantha joined as Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi on 31st March 2017. 

A career diplomat, Kantha was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016. Prior to this, he was Secretary (East) at Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi with responsibility for about 65 countries in India’s extended neighbourhood. His previous assignments include High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Consul General in Hong Kong, Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal), and Joint Secretary (East Asia) in Ministry of External Affairs. Earlier, Kantha served in different capacities at Indian Missions in Singapore, China and the USA, and at headquarters in New Delhi. 

In his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years, Kantha specialized in Asian affairs, with a particular focus on China.  Apart from three assignments in China, he served as Joint Secretary (East Asia) and Director (China) at Ministry of External Affairsfor periods of four years each, closely involved in the formulation and implementation of India’s foreign policy in respect of China and East Asia.He has an advanced certificate in Chinese language from National University of Singapore.

Kantha joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977. 

Sri Lankan Crisis Cannot Be Seen Through India-China Prism: Former Indian Envoy
29 Oct 2018

It would be incorrect to see the current political crisis in Sri Lanka, which has led to Mahinda Rajapaksa being sworn in as prime minister by president Maithirpala Sirisena...

"India China has the opportunity to rise at the same time"!
30 Jun 2018

This is ICS Director, Amb. Kantha on "The Paper"

Interviewed - Expert Gyan: Understanding the Purpose of the Wuhan India-China Summit
26 Apr 2018

The Wire spoke to eminent China scholars for their views on the upcoming 'informal' India-China summit in Wuhan.

The Rise and Rise of Xi Jinping
04 Nov 2017

China’s road map to achieving its great power ambitions has significant implications for India

China Congress - A Multipolar World Goes Out of the Window
29 Oct 2017

One suspects that what China seeks is not a multipolar Asia and multipolar world, but....

Two Perspectives on Doklam Standoff
26 Jul 2017

One is a veteran journalist who has watched the India-China engagement for six decades...The other was India’s Ambassador to China until 2016...

Doklam Crisis: Not Optimistic about Prospects of an Early Settlement
19 Jul 2017

India and China have had a series of bilateral discussions on resolving the border dispute...

India-China standoff: All you need to know about Doklam dispute
06 Jul 2017

An obscure pasture in Bhutan becomes the bone of contention between India and China, sparking a perilous military standoff

Six Expert Views on How India Should Look at the Latest Border Stand-Off With China
05 Jul 2017

The Wire spoke to experts about whether a major border incident between the two countries was expected and how India should deal with the situation since it involves ally Bhutan.

India's 'new Silk Road' snub highlightes gulf with China
20 May 2017

China invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and six cabinet colleagues to its “new Silk Road” summit this month

The New Silk Road To Empire
15 May 2017

The World is no longer America's Oyster

China's Belt & Road
14 May 2017

Xi's big dream: Strategically converges domestic imperatives for growth with global leadership aspirations

Why India is Cool Towards China's Belt and Road
14 May 2017

Beijing should have no difficulty in appreciating New Delhi’s sensitivities regarding its activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

Do China’s threats on Dalai Lama visit mean anything?
06 Apr 2017

What can China really do?” That was the question posed by a former diplomat and China expert when asked about the repeated threats

Dalai Lama to Taiwan, India stands up to pressure from Beijing
03 Apr 2017

As China ramps up its rhetoric against the Dalai Lama's upcoming trip to Arunachal Pradesh


Current Positions

    • Director, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, w.e.f. 31 March 2011
    • Distinguished Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Past Positions

    • Ambassador of India to China until January 2016
    • High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia
    • Consul General in Hong Kong
    • Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal)
    • Joint Secretary (East Asia) in Ministry of External Affairs

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