Vol. 1 No. 3 (2013): CISS Insight Bimonthly News & Views, June - July 2013

South Asia and Chinese Foreign Policy

Muhammad Faisal
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published August 12, 2013
How to Cite
Muhammad Faisal. (2013). South Asia and Chinese Foreign Policy . CISS Insight Journal, 1(3), P34-44. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/110


The dynamics of international power and political systems are changing. Various regions are therefore making structural readjustments to remain relevant in the changing world. Chinese growth in military and economic power is the best illustration of this transformation. Configuration of power structures and the parameters of interactions that characterized relations among nations, in Asia in particular, during the last half century are being fundamentally affected by China’s growing military prowess, rising political clout, distinguished diplomatic voice and increasing weight in regional and multilateral institutions. China has pursued expansion of its relations with South Asia through a multi-pronged strategy that encompasses advancements in military, diplomatic, economic, political and cultural interactions.

China is enhancing its economic cooperation with India and volume of their mutual trade has crossed the $70 billion mark. At the same time, cordial relations with Pakistan continue to flourish with focus on nuclear and missile co-operation alongside increasing cooperation in other sectors of conventional defense capabilities. Recent successful visit to China by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will open new avenues for cooperation in the fields of economy and energy between the two friendly countries.

Ongoing Chinese advances in South Asia are looked at by India, the other regional heavy weight with suspicion. India has considered the South Asian region as its natural sphere of influence. Consequently, potential for conflict, not necessarily military, between the two rival powers is high, mostly due to the mistrust and misunderstanding of each other’s intentions and objectives. It may also have implications for other states in the region, particularly Pakistan.