In May 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Wuhan for an informal summit that many say helped reset the relationship following the Doklam crisis. In this episode, Paul Haenle spoke with Rudra Chaudhuri, director of Carnegie India, and Srinath Raghavan, senior fellow at Carnegie India, about the state of China-India relations one year after Wuhan, as well as the implications of Trump’s America First policies on New Delhi-Beijing relations.

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

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

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

Srinath Raghavan is a senior fellow at Carnegie India and professor of International Relations and History at Ashoka University.