In this week’s #Forum2000online Chat, Jagannath Panda, Head of the Stockholm Centre for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs (SCSA-IPA) at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP), Sweden, joined Sascha Hannig, a journalist and Research Assistant at the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR), Hitotsubashi University, Japan, to talk about the China-India relationship and the strategic trends across the Indo-Pacific. China and India are two of the most relevant and strong actors in the region. Their role in the regional trends and in the world of the 21st century are undeniable. How important is the boundary dispute between the two nations? How do regional agreements work today? What is the Indian perspective and stance on the Ukraine-Russia crisis?
According to Jagannath Panda, you will learn that:
- The Chinese foreign policy towards India has become quite antagonistic and that is what we are watching on the boundary dispute and other geopolitical issues. China-India relation is going to enter into a very delicate and dynamic phase.
- There is a consensus among the Chinese policy makers, strategic thinkers and political leaders that India is one of the strongest and competitive powers. China is also seen as a strong competitor and rival for Indian foreign policy.
- India’s foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific, its participation in regional agreements and its alignment reflect the Indian national interest and the fact that the country is a critical and central actor with clear geo-political, geo-strategic and geo-economic goals.
- The QUAD is not a binding forum but more a consultative one. QUAD is going to evolve further.
- Regarding the war in Ukraine, India’s position has to be understood in terms of Indian foreign policy strategy. India has condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine but Western actors expect India to do more.
- Having good relations with Russia is important in India's national security interest. Russia is not only a close defense partner, Russia is also a critical and important multilateral partner for India to balance China`s outreach.
The interview was recorded on April 14, 2022. Its production was supported by the U.S. Embassy Prague.