24th April 2024


India’s First Do Tank linking Tech and Geopolitical Power

Ashok Kantha

Ambassador (Rtd) Ashok K. Kantha is an Honorary Fellow and former Director (2017-22) of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; a Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi; and Chair of the Core Group on China of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

A career diplomat, Kantha was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016. Prior to this, he was Secretary (East) at Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi with responsibility for about 65 countries in India’s extended neighbourhood. His previous assignments include High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Consul General in Hong Kong, Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal), and Joint Secretary (East Asia) in Ministry of External Affairs. Earlier, Kantha served in different capacities at Indian Missions in Singapore, China and the USA, and at headquarters in New Delhi.

In his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years, Kantha specialized in Asian affairs, with a particular focus on China.  Apart from three assignments in China, he served as Joint Secretary (East Asia) and Director (China) at the Ministry of External Affairs for 4 years each, closely involved in the formulation and implementation of India’s foreign policy with respect to China and East Asia. He has an advanced certificate in Chinese from National University of Singapore.

Kantha joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977.

  • Director, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, w.e.f. 31 March 2011
  • Distinguished Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi
  • Ambassador of India to China until January 2016
  • High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia
  • Consul General in Hong Kong
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • Joint Secretary (East Asia) in Ministry of External Affairs


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04 Nov 2017
China Congress – A Multipolar World Goes out of the Window – South China Morning Post
29 Sep 2017
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26 Jul 2017
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Six Expert Views on How India Should Look at the Latest Border Stand-Off With China – The Wire
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India’s ‘new Silk Road’ snub highlightes gulf with China – Reuters
20 May 2017
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Why India is Cool Towards China’s Belt and Road – South China Morning Post
14 May 2017
Do China’s threats on Dalai Lama visit mean anything? – The New Indian Express
06 Apr 2017
China Wary As Dalai Lama Set to Visit Tawang Today – Outlook
04 Apr 2017
Dalai Lama to Taiwan, India stands up to pressure from Beijing – Economic Times
03 Apr 2017