Sulmaan Wasif Khan

discusses

Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy:
China's Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
27
Friday
March 27, 2015
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes assistant professor of international history at Tufts University SULMAAN WASIF KHAN for a disussion of his book Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy: China's Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa, leaving the People's Republic of China with a crisis on its Tibetan frontier. Sulmaan Wasif Khan tells the story of the PRC's response to that crisis and, in doing so, brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters: Chinese diplomats appalled by sky burials, Guomindang spies working with Tibetans in Nepal, traders carrying salt across the Himalayas, and Tibetan Muslims rioting in Lhasa. 

What Chinese policymakers confronted in Tibet, Khan argues, was not a "third world" but a "fourth world" problem: Beijing was dealing with peoples whose ways were defined by statelessness. As it sought to tighten control over the restive borderlands, Mao's China moved from a lighter hand to a harder, heavier imperial structure. That change triggered long-lasting shifts in Chinese foreign policy. Moving from capital cities to far-flung mountain villages, from top diplomats to nomads crossing disputed boundaries in search of pasture, this book shows Cold War China as it has never been seen before and reveals the deep influence of the Tibetan crisis on the political fabric of present-day China.

Sulmaan Wasif Khan
Sulmaan Wasif Khan

Sulmaan Wasif Khan

Sulmaan Wasif Khan is Assistant Professor of International History and Chinese Foreign Relations at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he also directs the Water and Oceans Program at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy. He is a former Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Japan. He has written for The Economist, Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, and Yale Environment 360 on topics ranging from Burmese Muslims in China to dolphin migration through the Bosphorus. 

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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