Regional Stability and the Asian Nuclear Triplex
Since India’s nuclear tests, followed by Pakistani tests in 1998, Asia has seen the emergence of two nuclear forces besides China, in close geographical proximity. These three states not only share borders, they also have a history of conflicts. Of this nuclear triplex, India, being the second to enter the realm of nuclear weapons capable states, is also the common denominator of having adversarial relations with both Pakistan and China. Besides having territorial disputes with both China and Pakistan, India also has an ambitious foreign policy agenda of maximizing power and influence in the region which exacerbates Pakistan’s threat perception. This puts India in a rather peculiar position. Its greater national objectives are entangled in the security environment requiring competition with China and Pakistan, and on the other hand, seeking a stable and friendly relationship with China.