Contemporary India–China Dynamics: From an Orthodox to an Autonomous Course?

Dr Jagannath P. Panda was Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July 2014
    Review Essay

    This review essay examines the significance of India–China relations against the background of the current phenomenon of a multipolar world in the light of four recent publications on the subject. Tien-sze Fang’s and Jeff M. Smith’s works discuss the current facets of India–China relations, while William Antholis’s and Carl J. Dahlman’s works deal with the character and standing that India and China bring to their regional and global discourse. After reviewing the core of these books, this essay will seek to locate the dialogue and import of India–China relations in two constructive settings: first, the versatility of this relationship in a multipolar world order; second, why this relationship is important to the future of multipolar world politics. In the official idiom, India–China dynamics are not confined to the bilateral ambience. For example, a joint statement issued on the occasion of the visit of Premier Li Keqiang to India (May 20, 2013) records that ‘There is enough space in the world for the development of India and China … As the two largest developing countries in the world, the relationship between India and China transcends bilateral scope and has acquired regional, global and strategic significance’. This official endorsement comes against the background that the year 2014 is the 60th anniversary of the occasion when the Panchasheel discourse was first enunciated.