RISJ Seminar: India and China: Strangers across the Border

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Convener: Meera Selva

Speaker: Reshma Patil

Introduction: ‘Is India a friend, rival or enemy?’ This was the question Reshma Patil asked the people she met on her journeys through China. As she travelled from official think-tanks and universities where the country's future policymakers are being groomed, and to newsrooms and economic zones attracting their first-ever Indian investors, the responses that she received ranged from uncomfortable silence to blank stares. The rarest response was friend, equally so was enemy. She will discuss her findings on Chinese and Indian perceptions of the other and their implications for the Sino-Indian strategic and economic relationship today.

Speaker: Reshma Patil has reported extensively on current affairs from Asia’s two largest nations. In 2008, after nearly a decade-long stint as a journalist in India, Patil moved from Mumbai to Beijing to launch and head the first China bureau of Hindustan Times. From 2008-11, she reported on China’s politics, economy, and the evolving Sino-Indian relationship. Her book,Strangers across the Border: Indian Encounters in Boomtown China, (HarperCollins) was shortlisted for the First Book (Non-Fiction) Prize at the Tata Literary Festival 2014. The Economist called it a ‘sharp and well-crafted memoir … revealing not only for its detail and anecdote but also for its broadly damning conclusion …” Patil, a former Special Correspondent at The Indian Express (1999-2006) and former Associate Editor at Hindustan Times (2006-12) now writes independently on Sino-Indian relations, based in Mumbai. She is a former Chevening South Asia Journalism Fellow (2016) now in Oxford as a journalist fellow at the Reuters Institute for The Study of Journalism.