Cooperation or Competition? China and India in Central Asia

  • Zhao Huasheng
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series


It would be premature to describe China and India as having close, direct bilateral contacts in Central Asia. The region does not yet figure prominently in their relationship. But it is clear that the two nations will have increasingly frequent contacts there in the future and that Central Asia will be moving higher up the agendas of both countries’ policymakers. There is a common but unhelpful tendency in discussions of the Sino-Indian relationship in Central Asia to see it as competitive. China and India could indeed be competitors in Central Asia, but they could also be cooperative partners. To define their relationship in Central Asia solely as one between competitors and to look at it and plan for it from the angle of competition alone would be one-sided and unidimensional. The reverse is also true: if we define their relations as purely cooperative, seeking to understand them only from the perspective of cooperation, then that too would be neither objective nor realistic. Although China and India’s common, or similar, interests in Central Asia provide a basis for possible cooperation between the two nations in the region, there also exist factors that drive them to compete with each other. The key to this issue lies in the policy choices made by the two nations, and the way ahead will be determined by whether they choose to cooperate or to compete.


Military Base Energy Cooperation Security Interest Bilateral Cooperation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Marlène Laruelle, Jean-François Huchet, Sébastien Peyrouse, and Bayram Balci 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhao Huasheng

There are no affiliations available

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