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China and India: The Struggle for Mastery in Eurasia

This article examines the economic and strategic rivalry between China and India along with a number of dimensions: infrastructure, border disputes, sea power, and trade. The two countries increasingly pose a strategic challenge to each other, as India, fearing Chinese encirclement, emerges as an obstacle to China’s projection of power. Insufficiently studied, the clash of visions and interests between China and India is now a central feature of global politics and the most volatile element of Chinese foreign policy. The evolution of this rivalry will dramatically impact the rest of the world.

China and India The Struggle for Mastery in Eurasia

In June 2017, Chinese troops were spotted on the Doklam plateau, extending a road through a piece of land disputed between China and Bhutan. India perceived this as an unacceptable change to the status quo and crossed its own border –in this case a perfectly settled one– to block those works. The Doklam plateau slopes down to the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow strip of Indian territory dividing the Indian mainland from the North Eastern Region states. If China were able to block off the corridor, this would isolate the North Eastern Region, a devastating scenario in the case of war. Two months later, at the other end of the Himalayan range, perfectly poised on a tiny lake peninsula high in the mountains, Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a cinematic stone-throwing battle, mysteriously captured by a camera placed behind mountain rocks.

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