As Asia’s largest and most rapidly rising powers in contemporary global politics, relations between India and China are becoming evermore intertwined with each other. Clear commonalities typify this symbiosis, including a shared civilisational basis, a mutual desire to rebecome great powers in international relations and common modernisation goals. At the same time, relations are beset by a number of issues, most notably long-standing territorial disputes, frictions over regional hegemony and wider diplomatic tensions (most prominently relating to China–Pakistan and India–United States ties). As such, India–China relations can be considered to resemble a ‘double-edged sword’, whereby elements of their interaction can be regarded as having concurrent benefits and liabilities. This article explores the historical roots and contemporary realisation of such a core dynamic over the last 75 years of relations between New Delhi and Beijing and investigates how their strategic goals are often simultaneously convergent and divergent.
- Threat perception