People > Kishan S Rana


Kishan Rana has an MA in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1960 and served in the Indian Embassy in China (1963-65, 1970-72). He was the Indian Ambassador/ High Commissioner to Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius and Germany and served on PM Indira Gandhi’s staff (1981-82). A polyglot, he speaks Chinese and French, besides English, Kathiawari, and Hindi. He is Professor Emeritus, DiploFoundation, Malta and Geneva; Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi; Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge; and, Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington DC. Earlier, he was guest faculty, Diplomatic Academy, Vienna (2011-18) and Commonwealth Adviser, Namibia Foreign Ministry (2000-01). He has authored and edited 14 books, (with two translated into Chinese), including Inside Diplomacy (2000); Asian Diplomacy (2007); Diplomacy of the 21st Century (2011); The Contemporary Embassy (2013); Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge (2016); and, Churchill and India: Manipulation or Betrayal? (2023).

China-Watcher Notes No. 1 China’s University Entrance Exam: The Gaokao The Global Electric Vehicle Race Hukou Reform
01 Jun 2024

Starting on June 7th millions of young people will sit for the world’s largest academic test. China’s university-entrance exam, known as the gaokao, is punishingly difficult. Students spend endless hours cramming for it.

China in the 1960s and 1970s: ‘Yanjing Group’, Beijing, 1964-65
06 Jan 2024

I worked at the Indian Embassy, Beijing, from August 1963-August 1965, as third/second secretary (after Chinese language studies at Hong Kong).

The 10th Anniversary of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI): Where is it Headed?
11 Oct 2023

These reflections were triggered by a two-part, 1-hour, ‘Drum Tower’ podcast1 on The Economist, broadcast at the end of September 2023.

Gender Equality in Diplomacy: Chinese and Other Foreign Ministries
21 May 2023

The Chinese Foreign Ministry made a welcome change in its external public outreach after 3 September 2021. While Chinese easily identify male and female names, foreigners

A New Non-Alignment?
20 Apr 2023

The essay said that ‘historical situations or never fully replicated’. That’s surely the complexity and joy of international relations studies. On the one side are the USA and its European allies

Churchill and India: Manipulation or Betrayal?
30 Sep 2022

Rich in archival sources, this book provides a fresh and holistic perspective on the final phase of the British Empire. It will be an indispensable resource to students and researchers of colonial history, imperialism, modern history, international history, Partition of India, and South Asian studies. It will also appeal to general readers interested in the history of Britain’s endgame in India.

China’s ‘Leading Small Groups’: Instruments of Governance and Control
05 Nov 2021

In the unique conjoined system of Party-State that China operates (with the Party the dominant player), Leading Small Groups, LSGs, are a governance device dating to the Ya’anan days of the 1930s.

Centre–State Cooperation in Handling Foreign Affairs
06 Feb 2021

Indian states engage with foreign countries on the rigorous logic of our constitutional provision that foreign affairs is exclusively a “union” subject.

India’s Envoy to China 1961–63 P K Banerjee’s China Days
02 Sep 2020

This essay is based on P K Banerjee’s (1917–2003) book, My Peking Memoirs of the Chinese Invasion of India (Banerjee 1990), published 14 years after he retired from the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).1 I have my own connection to the story as I reached Beijing in August 1963, spending five months

India’s Envoy to China 1961–63: P K Banerjee’s China Days
29 Aug 2020

P K Banerjee’s China Days

Fixing India's Strategic Thinking Vacuum
05 Jun 2019

Does India have a strategic culture?

When India played peacemaker
18 Apr 2019

This account of India’s foreign policy under Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi is an accomplished body of research into a period, usually studied primarily for India’s Non-Aligned Movement.

China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ Revisited
15 Dec 2018

The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s foreign policy hallmark, faces problems over magnitude, mismanagement, and excessive indebtedness for the recipient countries.

Indian Foreign Policy Changing Requirements and India’s Response
04 Aug 2018

As a rising power, India needs a foreign policy that projects its interests and its future possibilities...

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): Impact on India & its China Diplomacy
01 Sep 2017

The essay examines BRI in terms of China’s direct economic, political and domestic interests, the funding arrangements for its projects, including aid and loans, and the potential gains for the countries and the regions that are to participate in the connectivity and infrastructure oriented projects, including the maritime projects. It looks closely at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the possible connectivity gains that participating countries may obtain among themselves, suggesting that what is being created are ‘international public goods’, even if China has not yet engaged in participatory, comprehensive and equal dialogue among all that are current and potential beneficiaries of BRI actions.

Ensuring that the MEA delivers
29 Apr 2017

Comprehensive diplomatic goals, broken down into action plans for embassies, needed

Transforming foreign policy
15 Apr 2017

As a significant global player, India has to play a more nuanced, multilayered diplomatic game

India and China - Managing Mistrust?
05 Sep 2016

China is an arrived major power, the world's second largest. India is an emerging power aspiring to major status.

Some steps for India's renewal
30 Apr 2016

Is the idea of cooperative governance, in which governing coalitions and opposing parties actually join in tackling real issues, truly beyond our ken?

India and China - A grand design
23 May 2015

Last week in Shanghai, Indian and Chinese firms signed joint work plans. That is the way to go - compete, but also cohabit if feasible

India and China; Cooperation, Contestation or Competition?
17 May 2015

Four major political takeaways from Narendra Modi's much-anticipated trip to China

The Silk Roads and India Today
02 May 2015

India cannot resent neighbours moving ahead with infrastructure projects that serve their interests, funded by Chinese munificence

Diplomacy Systems & Processes: Comparing India & China
05 Feb 2014

What are the key characteristics of the diplomacy of India and China? To what extent is diplomatic capacity an issue in the management of a country’s foreign policy?


Areas of interest

Diplomacy process, and foreign affairs


Current Positions

    • Professor Emeritus of DiploFoundation, Malta and Geneva
    • Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi.
    • Archives by-fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and Public Policy Scholar at Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington DC.

Past Positions

    • Ambassador/High Commissioner to Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius, and Germany, and was on
    • Staff of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981-82
    • Commonwealth Adviser to the Namibia Foreign Ministry in 2000-01


    • MA, Economics, St. Stephens College, Delhi University
    • BA, Economics, St. Stephens College, Delhi University

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