Away from screaming headlines of the latest border skirmishes between China and India, the two countries have had centuries of social, cultural, political, and trade contact: not just state-to-state, but at population levels. There is a rich history of cultural influence – from art to literature to Buddhism. Chinese and Indian traders were exchanging goods, ideas, and technologies long before the British brought tea and opium into the picture.
What can this connected history tell us about the benefits of the two giants working together? The history of China and India over the 20th century – and their influence on the rest of Asia – points to a bright future for the Asian continent if the joint strengths of the dragon and the elephant are harnessed.
Our speaker – Scholar of China, India, and their connected history – will discuss what the 20th-century history of interactions between these two nations means for Asia's future. How do China and India impact the continent and the world? Does their connected history provide a model for conflict-free economic development in Asia? Can China and India together nudge the world towards an Asian century?