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The Life and Contributions of Prof. Huang Xinchuan in Promoting Indian Culture and Strengthening India-China Relations

Prof. Huang Xinchuan was a renowned scholar, an outstanding member of the Communist Party of China, and a member of the Honorary Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He made significant contributions to the promotion of Indian culture and strengthening the India-China relationship. Prof. Huang passed away on February 10, 2021, in Beijing at the age of 93.

Born on July 30, 1928, in Changshu, Jiangsu province, Prof. Huang started his academic career as an associate doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy at Peking University. He served as a lecturer, Director of the philosophy translation office, and Director of the Oriental teaching and research office. In 1964, he responded to the call of Chairman Mao and participated in the establishment of the “Institute of World Religions, Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He held various positions at the institute, including Director, Deputy Director, and Researcher of the Islam and Buddhism Research Office and the Deputy Director at the Institute of South Asia jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University.

Prof. Huang Xinchuan made systematic and in-depth research on Eastern philosophy, religion, especially India‘s, religion, and philosophy. His publications include “History of Indian Philosophy,” “Modern Indian Philosophy,” “Indian Buddhist Philosophy,” “Study on the Debate of Modern Indian Philosophers,” Collection of Xuanzang Studies, Religions in the Asia-Pacific Region, Ancient Indian Philosophy, and Eastern Culture Studies, Eastern Philosophy and Asian Values,” and “The Modern Significance of Eastern Thought” (Japanese Edition). He also served as the editor-in-chief of “China Encyclopedia·Religious Volume,” “China University Encyclopedia · Philosophy Volume” (subsection chief editor, editorial board member), “South Asian Dictionary,” “Religious Dictionary” (associate editor), “Eastern Encyclopedia” (editor in chief), “History of Oriental Philosophy” (editor in chief), “Contemporary Oriental Philosophy” (Editor-in-Chief), “Religions in the Asia-Pacific Region” (Editor-in-Chief) and “Top Ten Religions in the World.” He published over 200 research papers, some of which have been translated into English, Japanese, Korean, and Bengali.

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Prof. Huang Xinchuan at Pondicherry during Symposium of XuFancheng, March 10 2018

Prof. Huang’s book “Top Ten Religions in the World” won the National Excellent Book Award in 1988 and the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His research work on “The Exchange of Buddhism between China and North Korea in the Sui and Tang Dynasties-A Study of the Buddhist Monks in Shilla” won the 4th International Buddhist Academic Award and the Excellent Scientific Research Achievement Award of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 1982, he led a Chinese delegation to India to participate in the “2000 China and India International Academic Conference.”

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Prof Huang Xinchuan (middle), Prof. Huang Xiannian (left), Prof. Priyadarshi Mukherji(right), Prof Huang's daughter (extreme right), Dr Bikashkali Das (extreme left). Pondicherry, March-2018

Prof. Huang Xinchuan was a dedicated teacher and mentor who trained many master and doctoral students, including the former Chinese Ambassador and current Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui. He was also a friend and colleague of Great Chinese Sanskrit Scholar XuFancheng. Prof. Huang’s last visit to India was in March 2018, where he attended and gave his speech as the Honorable speaker for the event “Symposium of XuFancheng.” The event was organized by the Pondicherry India-China Friendship Association and supported by the Chinese embassy Department of Culture. Later, the Chinese embassy dept. of Culture compiled the book “Essays in memory of XuFancheng,” which was inaugurated by State Councilor & Foreign Minister of China Mr. Wang Yi and External affairs minister of India Smt. Sushma Swaraj during the High-Level People to People and Cultural Exchan

Overall, Professor Huang Xinchuan’s contributions to the study of Eastern philosophy and religion, particularly Indian philosophy and religion, have made significant contributions to the promotion of cross-cultural understanding and exchange, as well as to the enhancement of India-China relations. His legacy as a scholar, teacher, and cultural ambassador will continue to inspire and influence generations to come.

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Author (Bikash Kali Das) with Prof. Huang Xinchuan at Pondicherry 2018

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