Tanvi Madan Talks China-India Relations at Paulson Institute

As a continental-sized nuclear power with a large military, an emerging economy, and strategic ambitions in Asia, India has much in common with China. Relations between the two Asian powers have featured both good and bad elements since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, said Tanvi Madan, a Fellow at the Brookings Institution, during her talk at the Paulson Institute’s Contemporary China Speakers Series. Modi’s pro-growth strategy initially offered opportunities for India-China collaboration, said Madan. The trade relationship picked up accordingly, and China currently stands as India’s largest trading partner. Nonetheless, the last year-and-a-half has seen the India-China relationship become increasingly “strained,” said Madan. During a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, PLA troops crossed the border into Indian territory, putting Modi on the back foot. Furthermore, China’s recent strengthening of ties to Pakistan has irked Delhi. Fundamentally, there is a lack of trust and lack of knowledge between India and China that has reinforced their differences, argued Madan.