Multilateral Initiatives and Security Dilemma: Explaining India’s Choice to Join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Devendra Kumar is a PhD Scholar in the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, at the University of Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
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  • May 2021

    The article attempts to explain India’s contrasting strategic choices with regard to China-led initiatives in South Asia. While India chose to join the AIIB, it has opposed the BRI. While the India–China relationship has been defined by the security dilemma for long, China’s involvement in the region makes the security dimension even more salient. More so, because infrastructure connectivity projects change the existing relations of power and influence. It is argued here that India’s choice to join the AIIB can be explained by its inclusive and transparent governance structures that help decouple China’s strategic intentions from the projects funded by the Bank. In contrast, the BRI does not have inclusiveness and transparency, which stokes India’s security concerns.