Chaudhuri discussed the evolution of the China-India relationship. He said that since the late 1990s, regular diplomatic meetings and agreements between the two countries provided stability and prevented a breakdown in relations following nearly two decades of non-engagement. Raghavan argued Beijing and New Delhi’s simultaneous rise, however, has led both countries to take a more assertive approach to issues such as border disputes, resulting in the Doklam crisis. Chaudhuri said there are opportunities for practical cooperation between China and India on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). New Delhi will not participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), however, nor officially sign on to the BRI, given that India believes infringes on its interests. Despite being neighbors, Chinese and Indian citizens do not understand each other on a cultural and historical level, Raghavan said. Both scholars advocated for the two countries to revive programs that improve communication and people-to-people exchanges to help build trust in the bilateral relationship. India and the United States share similar concerns with regard to China, and Washington plays an important role in India-China relations, Chaudhuri said. However, India’s relations with China are still primarily driven by its own interests and needs.
Paul Haenle holds the Maurice R. Greenberg Director’s Chair at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy based at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and U.S.-China relations.
Rudra Chaudhuri is the director of Carnegie India. His primary research focuses on the diplomatic history of South Asia and contemporary security issues.
Srinath Raghavan is a senior fellow at Carnegie India and professor of International Relations and History at Ashoka University.