Embrace and Encircle? China’s approaches to India and their effect


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Some major regional trends that have recently been observed are the interdependence of Asian economies and, in lock-step, cultural rivalries and mistrust. These dynamics are appropriate to China and India, both being emerging powers and arguably afflicted by “strategic claustrophobia”, a fear of finding themselves contained and denied access to markets and resources (Michael Wesley, Canberra Times, 2 September 2015). China’s obsession with western-led moves to “contain” it in recent years could arguably be seen in its own physical encirclement of India. China’s approach to India also includes embracing it, surrounding it in a soft power relationship, while keeping it off-balance with disputed borders, claims to Indian territory and increasing influence in South Asian port cities. China’s foreign policy towards India lies in its use of “smart power” (usually applied to the United States) - the combination of the threat of hard power, payment and soft power attraction – is also utilised in a larger context, its intention to achieve South Asian pre-eminence. The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, for example, with its spread of member states that now includes India and Pakistan, observer states and dialogue partners, emphasises its multilateral method and, arguably, outpaces the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). This paper will assess China’s foreign policy as it affects India and often do so from an Indian perspective.
Original languageEnglish
TypePrimary source assessment written by associates of the Future Directions International (FDI) research institute
Media of outputWritten work - Associate Paper
PublisherFuture Directions International Pty Ltd
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationFuture Directions International - online
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015


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