Ananth Krishnan is an author, China correspondent for the Hindu, and a visiting fellow at Hong Kong University. In this interview with Shubh Soni, he discusses his new book, India’s China Challenge, which covers China’s transformation over the past decade and its implications for India, the neighbouring country’s political structures and rising nationalistic sentiment, and its control on the media. On the nature and functioning of China’s political and judicial structure, Ananth underlines the central position of the Chinese Communist Party in all forms of decision-making and political institutions.
“The most important, simple thing that I would say to everybody is to keep in mind that even if you have the veneer or façade of having institutions like the parliament or the Supreme Court in China, the fact is that all of these institutions answer to the Communist Party of China,” he says.
In his experience, Ananth says, the younger Chinese population, born in the 1990s and 2000s, is more nationalistic than previous generations. In contrast, a section of young people in the country is frustrated that in the 21st century, they don’t have access to the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, or popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Ananth also says that apart from controlling the news media within the country, China has been trying to shape how the foreign media reports on its matters too. “I think over the last year or two, as part of this trend of so-called ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’, they’ve become very active in trying to kind of tell the media in different countries what to report and what not to report,” he says.
The conversation also spans pop culture in China, and a lot more.
Text by Diksha Munjal.
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