The rise of China as an emerging global power has significant implications for India’s pursuit of its core interests. While old sources of friction between the two countries persist, shifting global power dynamics and technological advancements present new challenges and opportunities.
In this backdrop, this report argues that China’s primary interest with regard to India pertains to the nature of the Indo-US relationship. Stability along China’s periphery and, if not supportive, then at least a non-aligned India is what China desires in the near term. Meanwhile, India’s national interest lies in ensuring that the relationship with China remains stable and deepens based on common interests, while India pursues the expansion of its own comprehensive national power.
Underscoring the above, this report provides a detailed assessment of China’s foreign and defence policies and makes specific recommendations that India should pursue to shape the trajectory of the bilateral relationship.
We argue that India must:
- Approach the economic relationship with China from a strategic perspective. Invite investments but offer conditional market access.
- Adopt steps to stabilise the security relationship, while focussing on defence modernisation and cultivating asymmetric countermeasures.
- Pursue pragmatic self-interest-based cooperation on global issues while building the capacity to emerge as a swing power.
- Create enabling environments for subnational entities to drive people-to-people engagement.
- Pursue conditional collaboration with Chinese entities with the aim of nurturing domestic innovation ecosystem.