Ashok K. Kantha is Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi since April 2017. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank as well as the Chair of the Core Group on China of the Confederation of Indian Industry, India’s leading apex chamber of commerce and industry.
A career diplomat, Amb. Kantha was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016. Prior to this, he was Secretary (East) (Vice Minister) at Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. His previous assignments include High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Consul General in Hong Kong, Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu, and Joint Secretary (East Asia), Director (China) and Director/Deputy Secretary handling Pakistan and Afghanistan in Ministry of External Affairs. Amb. Kantha also served in different capacities at Indian Missions in Singapore, China and the US, and at headquarters in New Delhi.
In his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years, Amb. Kantha specialized in Asian affairs, with particular focus on China and India’s neighbourhood. He has an advanced certificate in Chinese language from the National University of Singapore.