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Foreign Policy of India towards China: Principles and Perspectives

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 3, Issue (9), Pages 50-58, September,14 (2014)


There has been sweeping shifts and realignments in the dominion of international politics since the end of Cold War. The global power architecture is increasingly defined by the re-emergence of China and India on the international scene, in roles that are commensurate with their size, their dynamism and potential. This paper seeks to analyze the changing dynamics of India’s foreign policy in the post-Cold War era especially in relation to China. The delimitation of the phase since the end of Cold War is important from the point of view that India drastically reoriented its China policy by adopting a more pragmatic foreign policy approach closely associated to the principles of Realism. The pace of strengthening the India's post-Cold War policy of cooperation towards China resulted in detente between China-India relations after 1996. However, this thaw in China-India relations was very short as both the states restarted their blame game after India detonated the two nuclear devices in May 1998 by citing China as a threat to her security. This hostile environment changed once again when the BJP led NDA government began making overtures towards China, and the two nations reached consensus on comprehensive bilateral cooperation in 2003 during Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to China. Thereafter, the Congress led UPA government established a Strategic Partnership with China geared towards peace and prosperity, but at the same time promoted Nuclear Agreement and Joint Military exercises with the United States and further strengthened Strategic Cooperation with it. This paper attempts to look into the compulsions, principles and dynamics of India’s foreign policy in the post-Cold War and the direction in which it is likely to evolve vis-à-vis its arch rival China. Descriptive-analytical methods have been adopted in this paper to analyze and present the facts with optimum level of objectivity.


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