Alka Acharya, Director, Institute of Chinese Studies is visiting Shanghai to participate in the Shanghai Forum 2016, 28-30 May 2016.
Had I been in Beijing during the Indian President’s visit to China from the 26-28th May – or even in Guangdong – the impact and sense of the visit could possibly have been different. As it happened, I landed in Shanghai the day the President reached Beijing from Guangdong – and I had the opportunity to assess the visit from China’s commercial capital. Reports on President Pranab Mukherjee’s China visit were routinely issued in the various bulletins – more regularly in the CCTV English channel – but they were quite pro forma in fact and not every hour – it did not appear to be billed very high. Scholars I interacted with at Fudan University or even those who had come from other parts of the world to attend the Shanghai Forum, were more interested in discussing the G-7 meeting that was taking place and what China thought of it. The newspapers too made a brief mention of the visit, noting that the two countries had pledged to maintain peace in the border areas and that the visit was expected to advance the relationship. The buzz was all around the G7 meeting in Tokyo, Obama’s visit to Hiroshima (that occupied huge media attention); the statement on the South China Seas made from the G7 platform and the upcoming G-20 summit in Hangzhou.