“Emerging China-india cross-cultural interactions and their implications for Asia”


Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences
(inc. the Centre of Asian Studies)
The University of Hong Kong

International Conference on
“Emerging China-India cross-cultural interactions and their implications for Asia”

Date: Friday, September 3, 2010
Venue: The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, HONG KONG

A lot has been written and debated on the competitive and almost simultaneous rise of both India and China in the 21st century. Academic debates in Asia – or more evidently in the West – have indeed tended to follow the trends of diplomatic and popular perceptions of a growing and confusing Sino-Indian rivalry gradually taking shape. Theoretical and empirical scientific studies have thus far more focused their attention on the global political, security and economic implications of the rising China-India dyad, rather than on the way it is studied, understood and interpreted in China and India proper.

This international conference organized by HKIHSS (inc. the Centre of Asian Studies) of The University of Hong Kong will seek to understand the way China and India – their States, elites, societies – perceive each other, according to which historical legacies, cultural background and political agendas, in order to understand the impact these mutual perceptions have on the global Sino-Indian contemporary relationship as well as on Asia. It intends to foster international discussions on the approaches chosen by India and China to manage their fundamental differences by building up new cross-cultural bridges and educational/academic exchanges. Why and how such a cultural gap remains between Asia’s biggest neighbours, and what are the global implications of their enduring mutual (mis)perceptions or (mis)understandings on the rest of Asia? How does India (its State but also civil society and intellectual/academic communities) perceives present-day China, and vice-versa? How cross-cultural interactions are defined, promoted, and exploited – if they are – by both Beijing and New Delhi? And to what ends? Would these political and cultural initiatives in nurturing better mutual knowledge be a vector of peace-building processes in Asia or would they tend to further crystallize resentment and distrust within the Sino-Indian dyad?

We invite submissions for presentations from international scholars and observers of the Sino-Indian dyad conducting original academic research in the pluridisciplinary field of social sciences and humanities to address these key questionings. Primary themes of the conference will then be:

– How China and India’s mutual perceptions have historically been constructed and fostered? What are their most obvious contemporary political implications on the bilateral dyad, and then more globally on Asia’s regional order?
– What are the current Sino-Indian cultural exchanges on which the Beijing-New Delhi relationship is built? Which instruments are favored? According to what agendas? What perspectives can then be drawn on a key political tool of China and India’s respective “soft power”?
– How are organized, planned and promoted China studies in India and South Asian studies in China? What are their impacts on Beijing and New Delhi policymaking?
– Can cross-border cultural/religious/ethnic affinities, trans-Himalayan linkages and Buddhism offer potential vectors of peace-building processes between India and China?

Efforts will be made by HKIHSS (inc. CAS) to promote the innovative conclusions of this international conference through a scholarly published output. Abstract (up to 1,000 words) should be sent to HKIHSS (inc. CAS) by Monday, May 31, 2010. Presentations are intended to be shorter than 20 minutes. Powerpoint and visual projection equipments will be available. Notification for acceptance will be communicated to scholars by early July 2010.

Please do note that HKIHSS is awaiting for various external funding (including from Japan Foundation Grant Programme for Intellectual Exchange Conferences). Assistance for travel passage will not be confirmed to participants until July 2010. Draft papers (for internal dissemination and academic discussants) will be due by Friday, August 6, 2010.

Conference Secretariat:
Dr. Renaud Egreteau, Research Assistant Professor, HKIHSS (inc. Centre of Asian Studies) China-India Project
Coordinator (E-mail: [email protected] – Tel: (+852) 2241 5921)
Miss Teresa Tsai, HKIHSS (inc. Centre of Asian Studies), Assistant Registrar
Mrs. Louise Mak, HKIHSS (inc. Centre of Asian Studies)