This essay traces the development of China–India studies from the mid-nineteenth century to the present in order to take stock of the field, which has witnessed a surge in publication over the past two decades. The assessment presented here weaves the main shifts in China–India political relations with the emergence of various strands of China–India scholarship, since the two aspects often intersect. The major lacuna in the field, this essay argues, is a framework needed to analyze the complex connections and the pertinent comparisons between China and India. It contends that research on China–India topics should ideally attempt to combine comparative and connective frameworks with analyses that transcend geographic, temporal, and disciplinary boundaries to address this lacuna.

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