India is experiencing a period of rapid development characterised by extremes of wealth, growing inequality and unstable industrial growth — a period James Crabtree calls “the Billionaire Raj” in his new book, which was recently short-listed for the FT / McKinsey business book of the year. But in the aftermath of last year’s border standoff at Doklam, and the subsequent summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, how will India’s arrival challenge China’s own rise in Asia — from the ongoing trade war to the Belt and Road initiative?
James Crabtree is a writer, journalist and author living in Singapore. He is currently an associate professor of practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and a senior fellow at the school’s Centre on Asia and Globalisation. His first book, The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age, will be published in July 2018. At the Lee Kuan Yew School, James teaches courses on leadership and political communication, and researches the future of globalisation, including new regional connectivity projects in Asia, and in particular China’s Belt and Road Initiative. James is also a non-resident fellow at the Asia programme at Chatham House, and writes a fortnightly column for Nikkei Asian Review. Prior to moving into academia, James worked for the Financial Times, latterly leading the newspapers coverage of Indian business as Mumbai bureau chief between 2011 and 2016, having previously worked on the opinion page in London, as Comment Editor. Before joining the FT, James was first managing editor and then deputy editor at Prospect , Britain’s leading monthly magazine of politics and idea. He has also written for a range of other global publications, including the New York Times, Economist, Wired, and Foreign Policy. Prior to journalism, James was a senior policy advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He also worked for various think tanks in London and Washington DC, and spent a number of years living in the United States, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.