It will be unveiled during Ansari’s visit to China this week

India and China are expected to unveil a first-ever jointly compiled two-volume encyclopaedia, chronicling a 2,000-year history of cultural exchanges when Vice-President Hamid Ansari visits China this week.

Mr. Ansari, who will arrive in the Chinese city of Xian on Thursday and travel to the capital on Friday, is likely to unveil the encyclopaedia following his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice-President Li Yuanchao.

The more-than-four-year-long project contains nearly 800 entries, and was compiled by a group of eight scholars and historians — four each from India and China. The project came into existence as a result of the Joint Communiqué issued during the time of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in December 2010, in which the compilation of the encyclopaedia of India-China Cultural Contacts was first proposed. A Joint Compilation Committee was formed with officials and experts from both sides, which met five times in the last two years to draw up a final list of entries on the basis of themes identified through the concept note and subsequent discussions.