About Sutirtho Patranobis

Short, fat, nasty, nearing soft middle age. Pretentious and philistine. After 38 busy months as a lotus eater in Colombo, now in Beijing getting used to the haze that often drowns the day; and to the many Chinese who are willing to help someone struggling with Mandarin. Learnt to say subway instead of metro. Yet to pass the acid test of picking up a peanut with chopsticks.

Last week, I spoke to two student leaders at the forefront of the demonstrations that had all but pulled down the shutters over the global financing hub of Hong Kong.

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My bosses in HT asked me this question time and again in the last couple of days as Chairman Xi Jinping’s day of landing in India drew near: What does China want from India? (I will explain the Chairman-part in a bit.) [Read more]

Sometime in the middle of last month, about two dozen people gathered at a courtyard café in a Beijing Hutong or traditional alleyway on a weekend to watch a Hindi movie. [Read more]

In about a week’s time it will be China’s former leader, Deng Xiaoping’s 110th anniversary. Deng took the reins of China after turmoil of the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976 and ushered in the first phase of the economic opening up and reforms that slowly began to turn the Communist country’s wheels of growth. [Read more]

The current cozy relationship between Beijing and Moscow is nowhere more apparent than in Manzhouli, a town at the China-Russia border in Inner Mongolia. [Read more]