Foreseeing India-China Relations: The 'Compromised Context' of Rapprochement


Jagannath P. Panda and Atmaja Gohain Baruah

Asia Pacific Issues, No. 138


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: July 2019
Binding: paper
Pages: 8
Free Download: PDF


India-China relations witnessed a new wave of optimism for a progressive and engaging partnership following the Wuhan Summit, the informal 2018 meeting between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Key to this has been continuous exchange of political and official visits from both sides. However, these exchanges might not be sufficient to remove uncertainty and suspicion from their relations. As long as China’s relationship with the United States remains adversarial, China will embrace India—without guaranteeing that it will not adopt a confrontational posture in the future. Their shifting relations, though suggesting an official longing for an upward trajectory, are based on a compromised context. External circumstances have pushed them to rapprochement, but could also drive them apart. Whether India and China will sustain this rapprochement is difficult to foresee.