This fall, China and India’s leaders will meet during the 9th annual BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. The meeting comes on the heels of a tense year for the two countries, as long-simmering border disputes have reignited and China blocked India’s bid to join the nuclear suppliers group. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with C. Raja Mohan, director of Carnegie India, to discuss India’s shifting dynamics with the United States and China in the wake of Trump’s election.

Mohan noted the disparity in the reaction to the U.S. election results between Europe and Asia. While European nations viewed Trump’s victory as a setback for liberalism, Mohan said Asian nations took a more pragmatic approach that focused on bracing for greater unpredictability. As a country that still has much to gain from globalization, Mohan said that India was disappointed to see one of its biggest advocates retreat into protectionism. At the same time, Mohan expressed optimism that Trump’s election would provide an opportunity for India to take a stronger leadership role in the international system. Looking ahead, he said India will need to preserve its positive relationship with the United States and limit friction with China. He also recommended India hedge against negative developments in its relationship with China by expanding cooperation with ASEAN, Japan, Korea, and Australia.

Paul Haenle

Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

C. Raja Mohan

C. Raja Mohan is the director of Carnegie India, the foreign affairs columnist for the Indian Express, and a visiting research professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He is the South Asia chair for the Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia.