Analyses | 08 November 2012

India and China: competitive coexistence in the Asian Century

In this book chapter, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf and Ashley Townshend examine the factors that are likely to influence the strategic dynamic of the China-India bilateral relationship in the Asian Century. Although engagement through trade, defence dialogue and high-level visits has deepened, strategic relations remain strained. While it is likely that strategic competition will come to overshadow cooperation between the two Asian giants, it is yet unclear whether this competitive dynamic is likely to devolve into rivalry. This chapter argues that while enduring strategic competition in the form of competitive coexistence will come to characterise the relationship, China and India are unlikely to become fully fledged strategic rivals

  • Rory Medcalf
  • Ashley Townshend

In this book chapter, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf and Ashley Townshend examine the factors that are likely to influence the strategic dynamic of the China-India bilateral relationship in the Asian Century. Although engagement through trade, defence dialogue and high-level visits has deepened, strategic relations remain strained. While it is likely that strategic competition will come to overshadow cooperation between the two Asian giants, it is yet unclear whether this competitive dynamic is likely to devolve into rivalry. This chapter argues that while enduring strategic competition in the form of competitive coexistence will come to characterise the relationship, China and India are unlikely to become fully fledged strategic rivals

  • Rory Medcalf
  • Ashley Townshend
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Executive Summary

For the full text of the chapter, please download the pdf document. For details of the full publication, see South Asia in the new decade: challenges and prospects.