China-India relations

People walk along a street near a closed market in Srinagar, India, on 17 June 2022. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP)

From US to India: China's shifting tech investments shows overriding influence of politics

Over the past several years, Chinese private firms have ferociously invested in India’s tech start-ups. Initially welcomed, China’s diversion of interest from erstwhile US investment has been viewed with some measure of suspicion since the Galwan Valley conflict. Are we living in a world where investment patterns are determined by statecraft? ISAS academic Karthik Nachiappan examines the issue.
A member of security personnel stands guard behind a perimeter fence at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, on 20 May 2022. (Pawan Sharma/AFP)

India's choice: Pro-US, pro-China or stay autonomous?

With his visit to Asia in May and the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity which includes India, US President Joe Biden clearly seeks to recast the strategic environment in which China operates. On its part, China had earlier launched the Global Security Initiative and is articulating its vision of a changing world order. For India, therefore, the long-term choice is either strategic autonomy, or the role of a pro-US or even pro-China “swing state”.
Le Yucheng, the new deputy head of the National Radio and Television Administration. (CNS)

China's foreign ministry Russia expert lost chance for a ministerial job

Among the recent appointments and removals of Chinese officials, Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng’s move is of particular concern. As Le was seen as a potential leader in the foreign ministry, analysts believe that his appointment as deputy head of the National Radio and Television Administration is a career setback that might have to do with his misjudgement of the war in Ukraine.
People in a busy street in Mumbai, India, 12 April 2022. (Niharika Kulkarni/Reuters)

Why India's neutral stance in the Russia-Ukraine war works

Indian academic Amrita Jash is of the view that unlike China, India has managed to stay on the right side of international opinion despite abstaining from the UN resolution condemning Russia. This is because it is valued as an important piece of the puzzle in the reshaping of the 21st century world order. Moreover, it has stuck to a non-reactionary position and stayed clear of an obvious tilt towards Russia or the US and its allies. By the same token though, will India’s usefulness in the power game be diminished by its inability to move any further to either side?
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters hold chairs and cut-outs with portrait of BJP leader and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they await his arrival during a rally ahead of the state assembly elections in Ferozepur on 5 January 2022 which was reportedly cancelled later citing security concerns. (Narinder Nanu/AFP)

Why India’s influence over South Asia will continue to weaken

India has long held dominance over South Asia, but recent developments show that the situation may be changing, says Chinese academic Guo Bingyun. China has been stepping up its engagement of the region while India has turned much of its attention on the US in its bid to counter China. In what was once its own backyard, India may have fallen too far back from leading contenders China and the US.
A child stands near a giant screen showing the image of the Tianhe space station at China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, China, 24 April 2021. (Tingshu Wang/File Photo/Reuters)

India-China space race: The role of the private sector

As geopolitical competition among global powers extends into outer space, major players are looking at how the private sector can play a bigger part in the space race and boost national space venturing capabilities. Yogesh Joshi and Ashmita Rana note that while India's space expenditure stands at only one-sixth of China's, and the latter seems to be leading the way in working with its private space firms, India's great ambitions and edge over China in working with global partners may give it a greater push to catch up.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) poses for a photograph with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during their bilateral meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 9 January 2022. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean: Wang Yi’s visit to Comoros, Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s swing through three strategic island states — the Comoros, Maldives, and Sri Lanka — as part of his annual African tour at the beginning of January underlines China’s continuing quest for a larger role in the Indian Ocean. Are China’s economic incentives and themes of non-intervention and sovereign equality resonating with the Indian Ocean littoral at the expense of India and the US?
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on 6 December 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

India and Russia remain on opposite sides of the Indo-Pacific’s balance of power

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to New Delhi should be seen as one of correcting the downward slide in India-Russia relations rather than a celebration of an age-old strategic partnership, says Yogesh Joshi. Against the backdrop of a rising China, India feels the threat of strengthening Russia-China relations and the latter’s engagement of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, India-US relations have taken on greater strategic significance, and Russia may be wary of India’s involvement in the Quad. With divergent national interests and threat perceptions likely to continue, will it be harder for both powers to find themselves on the same side?
Indian Army soldiers stand next to a M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer positioned at Penga Teng Tso ahead of Tawang, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), neighbouring China, in India's Arunachal Pradesh state on 20 October 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

Overcoming power imbalances and policy clashes: The quest for a peaceful China-India future

Mind games among the US, China, Russia and India may influence Sino-Indian engagement in the new year and beyond. China could move even closer to Russia in dealing with India, and the US could further call on India as a “major defence partner” in its intense competition with China. External factors aside, a peaceful and cooperative China-India future requires synchronised political will in their bilateral and global diplomacy. Key is unequal power and core interests as China and India each employ the diplomacy of smart power. Will an uneasy status quo be maintained in their long-unresolved boundary dispute, and will they find the impetus for collaboration in a post-Covid-19 order?