China in SAARC? To What Effect?

Dr. Sujit Dutta is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi. Presently he is on lien from IDSA and Professor at Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • May 2011

    Over the past few years there has been a move by some of the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to induct China into the regional organisation. China, in turn, has indicated its desire to join. Since other extra-regional states were also keen to be involved, SAARC has opened its doors since 2007 for out-of region states through a new arrangement. Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, the European Union and the United States – all with substantial diplomatic, economic and in some cases security engagements with the region – have been invited to join and be included as ‘observers’. Indonesia, Russia and South Africa have also expressed their desire to join as observers.