Singapore to promote Sino-India dialogue

Singapore: A number of local institutions here have come together to promote dialogue between India and China through scholars, economists and journalists, a media report said on Saturday.

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), The National University of Singapore (NUS), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Nanyang Technological University have formed the Singapore Consortium for Indo-China dialogue.

"Since academic institutions here have been showing very active interest in the topic, we felt it was time to bring them all together," Director of Humanities and Social Sciences Research at NUS and a representative of the consortium, Professor Prasentjit Duara, was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirapuma Rao had addressed the consortium`s inaugural lecture on Thursday, speaking on Rabindranath Tagore`s vision of India and China.

Director of the Nalanda-Siriwijaya Centre at ISEAS, Tansen Sen said, "Most importantly, in the last two years, Singapore has attracted expert scholars on India and China from different parts of the world, making it an appropriate place to conduct research on the two countries and promote dialogue between them."

"A necessary dialogue between India and China is of increasing importance to this part of the world, in order to make sure our region is not neglected or forgotten when the big people talk to one another," Professor Wang Gangwu, chairman of NUS` East Asia Institute was quoted as saying by the paper.

The consortium hopes to invite a speaker from China for its next lecture and has set a goal to host a flagship conference at some point, it said.

The idea of Singapore acting as a catalyst for exchanges between India and China came up last year when Singapore`s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited New Delhi.

He had told the Indian government about a meeting that Singapore`s state investor Temasek Holdings wanted to host between top government officials and business leaders from India and China in the city state.

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