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Book Reviews

Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 06:51 AM IST

China and India: History, Culture, Cooperation and Competition- Review

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Book: China and India

Edited By: Paramita Mukherjee, Arnab K Deb, Miao Pang

Price: 577 (Hardback)

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Pages: 232

ISBN: 978-93-859-8569-0 (HB)

Publisher: Sage Publications

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China and India have a rich and diverse past behind them. The two countries, though are in proximity with each other, have differences in language, culture, political thought, and business methods. The relationship of the two countries goes back many thousand years, and is at a vital stage in world politics. The book titled ‘China and India- History, Culture, Cooperation, and Competition’ which is edited by Paramita Mukherjee, Arnab K Deb and Miao Pang is a compilation of essays written from the perspective of evaluating the Sino-Indian relationship, through the passage of time.

The rich cultures of India date back to the civilisations of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa whereas those of China go back to the ancient Shu civilisation. The Shu merchants find mention in Indian scriptures thus showing that relationships between India and China date back to ancient times.  The book discusses the importance of Silk trade between the two countries in an essay by Duan Yu. The Chinese silk made way to various countries through the Silk-road which realised many trade relations between Asian countries and perhaps some European ones too.

In another interesting essay by Sanjoy Mukherjee, the influence of Rabindranath Tagore is discussed on the Sino-Indian relationship. His visionary thoughts and his spiritual influence made many in-roads in strengthening the ties between the two countries. Perhaps it was this deep rooted belief that led Tagore to establish the Cheena Bhavan in his university.

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In the essay by Chen Jixiang on the United States of America’s policy to be a ‘Pivot to Asia’, the author is highly critical on the idea of America’s influence in Asia, this the author believes is underlying with the United States hidden motive to restrain the rise of emerging Asian countries. The author places Pakistan in an extremely important position in this discussion, both geographically and politically. The relationship of China and Pakistan in making the China-Pakistan-Iran free trade zone might be considered by India as a threat, but the author considers this as a check to the United States ‘rebalancing strategy’ to make inroads into Asia, thus making the move beneficial towards India and not as the perceived threat that it sees. The relationship with Afghanistan is also discussed in the essay by Xie Jing and the importance of the two Asian giants in rebuilding Afghanistan after the United States exit is debated.

In the second part of the book, essays on globalisation and its myriad paths, regional inequality in India and China, Manufacturing policies, Corporate Social Responsibility and Health care sectors of the two countries are discussed.

The book is an academic perspective that provides a bird eye view into paradigms of culture, economics, and policy that are strengthening and weakening China and India. From the global perspective both the countries are important and their proximity drives many political decisions. India realises the importance of the same and the recent visit to China by Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcases India’s deep seated interest in making the relationship stronger. A relationship that dates back many thousand years.

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Published on: Sunday, May 14, 2017, 03:57 AM IST
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