India’s relations with China

Authored by: Harsh V. Pant

Handbook of India’s International Relations

Print publication date:  May  2011
Online publication date:  May  2011

Print ISBN: 9781857435528
eBook ISBN: 9780203828861
Adobe ISBN:


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According to most political observers, the global political architecture is undergoing a transformation, with power increasingly shifting from the West to the East, in what has been called the ‘Asian Century’. The two most populous nations on the earth, the People’s Republic of China and India, are on their way to becoming economic powerhouses and are shedding their reticence in asserting their global profiles, all of which makes their relationship of still greater importance to the international system. The future of this Asian Century will to a large extent depend upon the relationship between the two regional giants, China and India, and the bilateral relationship between China and India will define the contours of the new international political architecture in Asia and the world at large. The importance of their relationship has not been lost on China and India. In one of his meetings with the Indian Prime Minister, at the 2004 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, was reported to have remarked that ‘when we shake hands, the whole world will be watching’. As of today, however, the trajectory of the Sino-Indian relationship remains as complex as ever to decipher, despite some positive developments in the last few years. This chapter examines the evolution of Sino-Indian ties over the last few decades and the constraints that continue to inhibit this relationship from achieving its full potential.

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