Home > Asia-Pacific, Politics > India’s Interests at Stake in Relationship with China

India’s Interests at Stake in Relationship with China

Harsh V. Pant writes in Power and Interest News Report:

As India embarks on redefining its foreign policy priorities to match its growing weight in the international system, it has become imperative for Indian policymakers to learn from the country’s past in order to frame appropriate policies for the future. The Central Intelligence Agency recently declassified its decades-old documents, referred to as the “family jewels,” which included the CIA’s own assessment of the reasons behind India’s debacle in the 1962 Sino-Indian war. While the documents do not reveal any major new insight into the events, it reinforces some of the issues that India should not ignore.

When Chinese President Liu Shao-chi said that “China was a great power and had to punish India once,” it is clear that India was being viewed as a threat to China in the long-term and the 1962 war was as much about China’s demonstration of its might as it was about the boundary dispute that apparently was the proximate cause behind the conflict.

…Today, as China and India emerge as major powers in the global hierarchy, it is imperative that Indian policymakers take note of their history.

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Categories: Asia-Pacific, Politics
  1. February 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    True. In fact, India has been doing that type of “cold-blooded” realist assessment. It’s security assessment of the wider region has been one of the constants that have kept its open-economy policy steady despite political turmoil.

    My book, India’s Open-Economy Policy: Globalism, Rivalry, Continuity (London and New York: Routledge, 2009) talks more about this nexus between realist security needs and liberal economic policies pursued in India.

    Jalal Alamgir, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Political Science
    University of Massachusetts, Boston

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