Past eventResearch Event

Looking East: India's Engagement with South East Asia

Chatham House, London


Sunanda K Datta-Ray, author of 'Looking East to Look West: Lee Kuan Yew's Mission India'



When P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh launched India's 'Look East' policy, it was only the first stage of a strategy to foster economic and security cooperation with the United States. The speaker will argue that 'Looking East' became an end in itself, and Singapore a valid destination, largely because of Lee Kuan Yew's search for a counter to China. The book, Looking East to Look West, recounts how India and Singapore rediscovered long-forgotten ties in the endeavour to create a new Concert of Asia. The speaker will say that although modern India's engagement with South-east Asia is almost accidental, the region, especially Singapore and Lee, expects much from a contemporary version of Indochina.

One of India's leading journalists, Sunanda K Datta-Ray spent many years in Singapore, as consultant with the Straits Times newspaper group, teaching at Nanyang Technological University and researching this book at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He was Editor of The Statesman (Calcutta and New Delhi), and has written extensively for the International Herald Tribune and essays for Time magazine.