The Return of Chen Ching Lin: A Chinese Deserter in the British Raj, 1943-46



During World War II, more than fifty thousand Chinese soldiers were sent to India for training. Many of them, however, deserted from the army and made their livings across India. Chen Ching Lin was one of these deserters. Focusing on the trajectory of Chen Ching Lin’s trip in India from 1943 to 1946, this presentation not only unearths the little-known experience of the Chinese deserters in India, but also explores how Chinese nationalist government’s aim to discipline the overseas Chinese communities conflicted with the agenda of the British geopolitics. It further contends that modern Chinese and Indian history could be integrated into a single narrative framework from subaltern perspectives.

Short bio

PictureCao Yin is associate professor in the Department of History, Tsinghua University. He works on modern Indian history, global history, and India-China connections in the twentieth century. His first book, From Policemen to Revolutionaries: A Sikh Diaspora in Global Shanghai, 1885-1945, was published by Brill in 2018. He also published research articles in Journal of World HistoryIndian Historical ReviewBritain and the World, and Frontiers of History in China. He is now working on a project that explores how India was turned into China’s home front during World War II.

The event is open to the public, but requires registration.

The India-China Conjunctures project – a collaboration between scholars based at Roskilde University, University of Copenhagen and NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies – provides a platform for bringing together current research on India and China interactions and relations.

The project is supported by S.C. Van Fonden.