Global and Regional Implications of Sino-Indian Rivalry: A Focus on the Strategic and Economic Dimensions 

Saddam Hosen

Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj. He can be reached at


The paper makes an effort to answer two key questions. To begin, what strategic and economic implications does the Sino-Indian conflict have? Second, what are the global and regional trends in Sino-India conflict in the future? Even though there is a lot of literature on Sino-Indian ties and conflict, there’s much less academic concentration on the implications of Sino-Indian conflict, especially in the hard power dimension. The paper observes that in international and regional affairs, the Sino-Indian competition is not a new phenomenon. The dispute between India and China has posed significant geostrategic challenges to regional peace and security in Asia in recent years. The paper further points out that the geopolitical rivalry between India and China would likely enhance China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean region to challenge India and its western allies. In terms of the economic dimension, India and its western allies, such as the United States and Japan, can develop new supply chains in IOR in order to diminish China’s reliance. It argues that while the future of the Sino-Indian conflict may bring great competition rather than cooperation, the reality of the economic system and transnational developments may enable India and China to expand their economic collaboration.

Keywords: Rivalry, China, India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Strategy and Cold War


Read Pdf Here: Global and Regional Implications of Sino-Indian Rivalry: A Focus on the Strategic and Economic Dimensions


Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, Article 1, September 7, 1993. Retrieved from: CN%20IN_930907_Agreement%20on%20India-China%20Border%20Areas. pdf Anderson, S. (2022). Will China And India Become The World’s Top Economies? It Depends. Forbes. Retrieved from stuartanderson/2022/11/01/will-china-and-india-become-the-worlds-topeconomies-it-depends/?sh=63cb450c7cfe Bawa, S. and Arif, M. M. (2015). Geostrategic Significance of South Asia: Contextualizing the Interests of External Powers. The IUP Journal of International Relations. 8(3), pp. 7-16. BBC (2020, June 16). India-China clash: 20 Indian troops killed in Ladakh fighting. Retrieved from Blank, J., Moroney, J. D. P., Rabasa, A. & Lin, B. (2015). Look East, Cross Black Waters: India’s Interest in Southeast Asia. RAND Corporation. p.2. Brewster, D. (2015). An Indian Ocean Dilemma: Sino-Indian Rivalry and China’s Strategic Vulnerability in the Indian Ocean. Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. 11(1), pp. 1-12. Brewster, D. (2018). Between two giants, the Sino-Indian cold war in the Indian Ocean. Institute Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI). Asie. Visions. Vol. 103, p.3. Cheng, J. (2013). China’s Regional Strategy and Challenges in East Asia. China Perspectives. pp. 53-65. Cooper, A. F & Farooq, A. B. (2016). The Role of China and India in the G20 and BRICS: Commonalities or Competitive Behavior? Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 45(3). pp. 81-85. Egberink, F. & Putten, F. P. V. D (2010). ASEAN and Strategic Rivalry among the Great powers in Asia. Journal of Current South East Asian Affairs, 29(3), p. 131-141. Ellyatt, H. (2022, April 01). Russia and the West are battling to get China and India to take their sides in the Ukraine war. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc. com/2022/04/01/russia-and-the-west-battle-to-get-china-and-india-on-side-inthe-war.html Estrada, K. S. D & Foot, R (2019). China’s and India’s Search for International Status through the UN System: Competition and Complementarity. Contemporary Politics, 25(5), pp. 567-585. Faisal, M. (2018). Impact of Geo-economics on Pak-China Strategic Relations. Strategic Studies, 38 (1), p.66-84. Fischer, S. & Stanzel, A. (2021). Afghanistan: The West Fails – A Win for China and Russia? German Institute for International and Security Affairs. Retrieved from: Frankel, F. R. (2011). The Breakout o China-India Strategic Rivalry in Asia and the Indian Ocean. Journal of International Affairs, 64(2), p.1-17. Goldman, R. (2020, September 8). India-China Border Dispute: A Conflict Explained. The New York Times, Retrieved From: world/asia/india-china-border-clashes.html Goldstein, A., Pinaud, N., Reisen, H. & Chen, X. (2006). The Rise of China and India: What’s in it or Africa? OECD Development Centre Studies, p. 29. Griffiths, J. (2020, June 18). A border dispute with China may push India closer to some of Beijing’s top rivals. CNN. Retrieved from: https://edition.cnn. com/2020/06/18/asia/china-india-border-dispute-quad-us-intl-hnk/index.html. Gulrez, B. G. A. (2015). Pakistan-China Strategic Relations. Army War College Review, 1(2), p.1-15. Hassan, M. A. (2019). Growing China-India Competition in the Indian Ocean: Implications for Pakistan. Strategic Studies, 39(1), p. 77-89. Hazarika, O. B. & Mishra, V. (2016). Soft Power Contestation between India and China in South Asia. Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, 11(2), p.139-152. Jash, A. (2022). The Ukraine Crisis and China-India Relations. China Brief. Vol. 22, No. 19, Retrieved from Jetly, R. (2010). India and China: Emerging Dynamics and Regional Security Perspectives. ISAS Working Paper, No. 114. Kaya, T. O. & Kılıc, F. (2017). Sino-Indian Strategic Rivalry in the Indian Ocean Region. Journal of Humanity and Society, 7(2), pp.155-172. Kumar, A. (2010). Future of India- China Relations: Challenges and Prospects. UNISCI Discussion Papers, No. 24. Lou, C. (2012). US–India–China Relations in the Indian Ocean: A Chinese Perspective. Strategic Analysis, 36(4), p. 624-639. Malik, J. M. (1995). China-India Relations in the Post-Soviet Era: The Continuing Rivalry. The China Quarterly, No. 142, p.317-355. Malone, D. M. and Mukherjee, R. (2010). India and China: Conflict and Cooperation. Survival, 52(1), p. 137. Mohan, C. R. & Hao, C. J. (2020). Navigating India-China Rivalry: Perspectives from South Asia. Institute of South Asian Studies, p.137-158. Mor, S. (2018). Sino-US Trade Spat: Genesis and Implications. In Sino-US Trade War: A New Challenge to Globalization. Ed. Surender Mor, Vista International Publishing House, New Delhi, p.8. Morazán, P., Knoke, I., Knoblauch, D., & Schafer, T. (2012). The Role of BRICS in the Developing world. European Union, pp. 4-7. Moreland, W. (2019). The Purpose of Multilateralism: A Framework for Democracies in a Geopolitically Competitive World. Security, Strategy and Order, p. 1-4. Ndzendze, B. (2017). Strains in Sino-Indian Relations: The BRICS Achilles’ heel? Journal of International Relations. Penn State University, p. 1. Norbu, D. (1997). Tibet in Sino-India Relations: The Centrality of Marginality. Asian Survey, 37(11), p. 1078-1095 O’Sullivan, M. (2020). India – China Tensions Could Damage Economic Outlook. Forbes. Retrieved from: mikeosullivan/2020/06/18/indiachina-tensions-could-damage-economicoutlook/#589599e95f02 Panda, J. P. (2011). China’s New Multilateralism and the Rise of BRIC: A Realist Interpretation of a Multipolar World Order. Institute for Security and Development Policy, 2011, P.9. Panda, J. P. (2012a). A ‘BRICS’ Wall? The Complexity of China-India Multilateral Politics. Indian Foreign Affairs Journal. 7(2), p.175-194. Pant, H. V. (2011). China and India: A Rivalry Takes Shape. Foreign Policy Research Institute. p.1. Pardesi, M. S. (2021). Explaining the asymmetry in the Sino-Indian Strategic Rivalry. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 75(3), pp. 341-365. Paul, T. V. (2018). The China-India Rivalry in the Globalization Era. In Han. Z &Belanger, J. F (2018). Balancing Strategies and the China –India Rivalry. Washington: Georgetown University Press, p. 95. Rajagopalan, R. P. (2018). India’s China Challenge in Africa. The Diplomat. Retrieved from Ruggie, J. G. (1992). Unravelling the World Order: The United States and the Future of Multilateralism. International Organization, 46(3). Ryan, M. (2011). India-China in 2030: A Net Assessment of the Competition between Two Rising Powers. Australian Defense Army, p. 3. Scott, D. (2008). The Great Power ‘Great Game’ between China and India – The Logic of Geography. Geopolitics, 13(1), pp. 1-26. Sharma, A. (2020). India Asks China to Avoid Raising Kashmir Dispute at UN. The Diplomat, Retrieved from: Siddiqi, F. H. (2012). India-China Relations in the 21st Century: Impact on Regional and Global Politics. Pakistan Horizon, 65(2), p.59-72. Sinha, R. & Sareen, N. (2020). India’s Limited Connectivity with South Asia. Brookings Institution India Center, No. 6, pp. 6-11. Smith, J. M (2020). The Galwan Killings Are the Nail in the Coffin for China and India’s Relationship. Foreign Policy. Retrieved from: https://foreignpolicy. com/2020/06/26/galwan-border-china-india-war-conflict/ Snedden, C. (2016). Shifting Geo-politics in the Greater South Asia Region. AsiaPacific Center for Security Studies, p. 11. Srinivasan, T. N. (2006). China, India and the World Economy. Economic and Political weekly, 41(34), p. 3716-3727. Stephens, H. (2019, 27 March). The India-China Rivalry Heats Up In South Asia. World Politics Review. Retrieved from: insights/25400/the-india-china-rivalry-heats-up-in-south-asia Sweijs, T., Cleven, W., Levi, M., Tabak, J., Speear, Z., & Jonge, J. D. (2010). The Maritime Future of the Indian Ocean: Putting the G back into Great Power Politics. The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, 13(9), pp. 7-20. Wagner, C. & Tripathi, S. (2018). India’s Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative New Partners and New Formats. German Institute for International and Security Affairs, pp.1-2. Yasmin, L. (2019). India and China in South Asia: Bangladesh’s Opportunities and Challenges. Millennial Asia, 10(3), p.322-336. Zhang Li, Z. (2010). China-India Relations: Strategic Engagement and Challenges. Centre for Asian Studies, p.2. Zhang, J. & Sun. Q. (2019). China–India Relations: A Premature Strategic Competition between the Dragon and the Elephant, Issues and Studies, 55(3). Websites Congressional Research Service (CRS), IF10726.html Congressional Research Service (CRS), IF10726.html Global Firepower, php?country1=india&country2=china The Lawfare Institute, The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),