Original Presentation: “Sino-Indian Relations at 60: Looking Ahead to the Next Decade,” Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Beijing, 13 December 2010.
Summary: The year 2010 marked the sixtieth anniversary of established diplomatic relations between China and India. Despite the initial euphoria attached to the concept of “Chindia,” the bilateral relationship between China and India continues to face numerous challenges.
While institutional links, dialogues, exchanges, and high-level visits will grow and flourish between India and China, they will not necessarily signify better relations. Both countries will continue to be wary of each other and their relationship will see a mix of cooperation and competition that is unlikely to change in the near to medium term.
Even if future armed conflict is unlikely, there is potential for a rivalry of U.S.-Soviet proportions and a “cold peace,” where proxies in other parts of the world are used to wage battles of influence by adopting either the Indian or Chinese model of political and economic development.