India/China Reality Check

In the New Statesman, Sukhdev Sandhu reviews Smoke and Mirrors: an Experience of China by Pallavi Aiyar:

Now, with the Beijing Olympics fresh in the memory and the next Commonwealth Games due in just two years in Delhi, more Atlantic-based consultants and forecasters than ever before will be hawking the idea of Chindia.

All the more reason to welcome the publication of Smoke and Mirrors, a deeply insightful and often very amusing mixture of travelogue, memoir and political analysis in which Pallavi Aiyar, the first Indian foreign correspondent ever to be based in China who actually speaks the language, offers a perspective on the relationship between the two countries that doesn’t read as a breathless praise-song to the transforming, medicinal power of globalisation, and that benefits vastly from the time she has spent talking to villagers, small traders and economic migrants as much as to CEOs and think-tank wonks.

Read also a review in the International Herald Tribune. Read some of Aiyar’s reporting on China, via CDT. Her personal website is here.



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