Original Article: “The EU, China and India: The Promise of Trilateral Engagement,” Asia Forum, Clingendael Institute (the Hague), 1 February 2010.
Abstract: In the Asian century, the dynamics created by the simultaneous rise of China and India will have important political, economic and security implications for the world. There are both new and old problems between the two countries, ranging from those of a bilateral nature to conflicts of interest that are engendered by larger global ambitions, as well as those caused by differences in political systems and values. While China’s ‘peaceful rise’ is much talked about, its legitimacy as the United States’ successor has not hitherto been questioned. India’s rising global economic and political profile means, however, that it will become an increasingly serious challenger to China. How can the EU intervene in a positive and creative manner to ensure that a ‘new cold war’ does not develop between the two Asian giants? While the EU does engage with China and India in multilateral forums that it promotes, such as the Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM), a more focused and regular trilateral engagement is likely to be more effective over the longer term in influencing and shaping the Sino-Indian relationship.