[chahy-nuh-muhn] The expression ‘Chinaman’ has got a bunch of meanings. At its most basic, it’s an offensive term used to refer to a Chinese or a person of Chinese descent. It’s also slang in a political sense used to talk about a protector or benefactor. For those of us in cricket-playing India, meanwhile, the word in the lower case is perhaps more familiar – a ball bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman that spins from off to leg. Whatever. I can’t quite understand that either. Not much of a cricketer. Football (also known somewhere, as ‘soccer’) has  been more my game. But giving offense isn’t what this is about. Or about being Don Corelone. Or about explaining cricket. Nope.

My friends started calling me “ChinaMan” at university because I was always talking about China, well before ordinary Indians started obsessing about China. I could put a China spin – cricket, again! – to anything and everything. This interest in China however, began in school, in the long years before mobile telephones and the internet, when one read newspapers at leisure, made careful clippings and notes found their place in neatly marked (paper) files and (paper) folders. This is the 21st century though, and in the interests of keeping up with the times and to thank my friends for their encouragement, comes this blog about one Indian’s immodest plan to understand and explain China. One chap out of a billion plus, trying to figure out another billion plus. And occasionally both billions together.

Jabin T. Jacob
Fellow (Associate Professor)
Institute of Chinese Studies
Delhi, India

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5 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi, I am trying to contact the webmaster but I haven’t found any contact form. I actually wanted to share with you that I created this blog: in order to compare and analyse Sino-Indian relations. I have become really interested in that topic since I wrote my master degree thesis on the great challenges of Sino-Indian relations. I welcome constructive criticism and I invite you to write your own articles/posts, comment and share your knowledge.

    Thank You!


  2. Sir i think their agency has redueced because of the conflict with the local tribal called Kuki.As for the Chin/Kuki i dont think they are transnational.Their forefather may be transnational but not them.In fact the tamilians are older settler in Myanmar than the India Chin/Kuki.So i think they are more of transnational.


  3. Do you believe that the BCIM can best be described and should aim to become a full-fledged transnational body? Apart from the involvement of scholars and officials, what role do you see the people playing? What do you think of further studying the historical linkages and studying the communities living in these areas? Could the Tamil merchants living in the Moreh border town of Manipur be seen as an example of a transnational community of the BCIM?


    1. Yes, the BCIM should become a full-fledged transnational organization and perhaps even expand to include the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal and the GMS countries. On what i think the next steps are, i have already written about it here: . The Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) is working out a proposal to study the historical linkages of and between the communities of the region. This might take a while to get off the ground, depending on whether we are able to get funding for the project, but take off it will. Watch this space.

      It’s not just the Tamil community of Moreh that are a transnational community – in fact, their agency has reduced, i’d think over years owing to discrimination within Myanmar and because they face various security and livelihood difficulties on the Indian side as well. Most of the Moreh community is in fact moving or has moved to Tamil Nadu – completing a long historical circle. But there are other border communities that can be termed transnational such as the Dai/Thai/Tai, the Jingpo/Kachin/Singphos or the Chin/Mizo.


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