Speaking Of Asia

China-India wayang kulit may not last

The recent informal summit between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping is a shadow play between two wary Asian giants forced by circumstances to ease tensions.

Entering the cabin of a Chinese jetliner bound for Beijing from Dalian last July, I was surprised to hear Sanskrit chants in the vicinity of my seat. The Bollywood release Dangal starring Aamir Khan had become a major hit in China and I assumed that one of my co-passengers was checking out some aspects of Indian culture on his cellular phone.

After a while I realised that the mellifluous music was filtering through the plane's public address system, probably meant to soothe the nerves of passengers before take-off.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2018, with the headline 'China-India wayang kulit may not last'. Subscribe