The strategic competition between India and China in South Asia, especially in the Indian Ocean due to the Chinese “string of pearls” strategy, has been a key element underlining the narrative of bilateral relations in recent years. There are debates in both countries about the intention, capability, and the desirable policy course to deal with each other.
The lack of consensus in India is well-manifested in the three articles from the South Asian Voices series “India-China Relations: Heating Up or Cooling Down?” For Tuneer Mukherjee, to deal with a China that “has managed to bait nations out of India’s strategic orbit,” India “must reform its position of strategic autonomy.” Focusing on the aftermath of the Doklam standoff, Nazia Hussain argues that “both countries have much to lose if they let the territorial dispute over Doklam continue to define bilateral relations,” and therefore if they are to “move beyond the current stalemate… as both seem willing to do,” the Doklam dispute will not be the defining event of their bilateral ties. Advocating for a similarly practical and forward-looking position, Kashyap Arora and Rimjhim Saxena maintain that strengthening the India-China economic relationship can confer great gains for both, especially for India.
This article was originally published in South Asian Voices on May 4, 2018. Read the full article here.