China’s rise to global prominence economically and militarily in East and South Asia has raised alarm and concern everywhere. As President Xi Jinping visits India this week, here is a collection of articles, books, podcasts and Twitter accounts to read, listen and follow to better understand the ambitious and restless Asian giant and its troubled relations with its neighbours.


1) A topical article on the 100th anniversary of the First World War and its lessons for the volatile East Asian region that has China at its centre:

The Lessons of 1914 for East Asia Today: Missing the Trees for the Forest by Ja Ian Chong and Todd H. Hall, International Security, Summer 2014, volume 39, number 1, pages 7-43 (available free from the website of the journal International Security)

2) A collection of articles on China’s foreign policy:

Examining China’s Foreign Policy—special issue of International Security, Volume 37, issue 4, Spring 2013

3) The Bhai-Bhai Lie by Tansen Sen, Foreign Affairs, 11 July 2014

Sen, a professor of Asian History at Baruch College in New York has written a review essay on a book (mentioned in the list of books below) that traces ancient roots of the modern conflict between India and China.


1) The indispensable guide on relations between New Delhi and Beijing is the classic by John W. Garver: The Protracted Contest—Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Twentieth Century (University of Washington Press, 2002)

2) On the pattern of China’s border disputes with its neighbours, the book to read is M. Taylor Fravel’s Strong Border, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes (Princeton University Press 2008)

3) How has China imagined India historically? This is a question that should interest not only experts in the ivory tower but everyone—strategic affairs experts, diplomats and journalists. One book that sheds light on the very old roots of cultural tensions between India and China (reviewed by Tansen Sen, see above) is India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought (edited by John Kieschnik and Meir Shahar, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)

4) A comparative study of Indian and Chinese foreign policies and foreign policy beliefs under Jawaharlal Nehru and Mao Zedong is Andrew Bingham Kennedy’s The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru: National Efficacy Beliefs and the Making of Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2011). This is a rare comparative study in an area that has received very little attention.


1) Laszlo Montgomery, an American businessman, set up China History Podcast four years ago. He has uploaded 135 audio episodes, over 80 hours dealing with history from the mythical times, through the Qin, Han dynasties all the way up to the People’s Republic of China. His website, updated weekly, is an excellent source for learning Chinese history.

2) The University of Oxford has a collection of podcasts on Chinese politics, art, religion and culture by the institution’s professors.


1) For almost daily coverage of what China is up to in East Asia, M. Taylor Fravel. Follow him @fravel

2) Evan Feigenbaum is a non-resident senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Asia Programme focussing primarily on China and India. His area of expertise includes defence, foreign policy and politics. Follow him @EvanFeigenbaum

3) The China Beat launched in early 2008, is a blog that “provides context and criticism on contemporary China from China scholars and journalists". It draws “a global group of China watchers in the US, China, the UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, and many other locations" Follow @chinabeat

4) Tea Leaf Nation, is the Foreign Policy magazine’s China channel focusing exclusively on Chinese media, politics, technology and social trends. Follow @TeaLeafNation

Global Roaming runs every Tuesday to take stock of international events and trends from a political and economic perspective.

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