The BRI and Sino-Indian Rivalry Today

Bhumitra Chakma & Xiudian Dai: book entitled The Belt and Road Initiative and the Politics of Connectivity: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the 21st Century

A BOOK which

  • llustrates New Delhi’s reaction to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Assesses the Sino-Indian rivalry within the contexts of great power rivalry and geo-economics
  • Explores the dimensions of the rivalry, and analyses their causes, dynamics and implications

This volume analyses New Delhi’s reaction to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the rise of politics of connectivity and infrastructure building which has heightened Sino-Indian rivalry in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It can be evidenced that the BRI has transformed the Sino-Indian dynamics from a ‘managed rivalry’ to an intense geo-political competition. It is contended   that competition is inevitable when two powers rise in the same neighbourhood.

The Indian government has opposed the BRI since its inception noting  that the ‘BRI violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’ because one of the flagship BRI projects – the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – runs through (Pakistan-controlled) Kashmir which India claims to be its own territory. It has consistently maintained that China’s ‘connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity’ of other states.

Beyond those stated reservations, New Delhi is concerned about the BRI infrastructure and connectivity projects in the smaller South Asian countries and the Indian Ocean littoral states. India has traditionally viewed South Asia and the IOR as its backyard over which it has historically maintained a position of influence. It is apprehensive that the BRI projects will enhance Beijing’s stature and undermine India’s influence in the region.

In eleven chapters including Introduction and Conclusion, this book explores the dimensions of the rivalry and analyses the causes, dynamics and implications of an accelerated Sino-Indian competition.

  • Dr Chakma is Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Studies and Director of the South Asia Project, at the University of Hull.
  • Dr Dai is Former Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull.

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