A groundbreaking conference at the University of Birmingham will bring together scholars from China, India and the UK to address contemporary Sino-Indian relations. Focusing on economic and security implications, speakers will also discuss the implications of China and India’s simultaneous rise on the West.
While a great deal of attention has been focused on the security competition between China, America and Japan, the rivalry between India and China has received less academic treatment in the West. Their simultaneous rise in the 21st Century has been characterised by rhetorical bonhomie, booming, albeit unequal, economic exchanges and occasional cooperation in global multilateral fora on the one hand. Trade between the two nations is currently valued at around $60 billion per year and it is thought this will jump to $100 billion per year by 2025.
However, on the other hand, economic, strategic and diplomatic rivalry is a defining feature of their relationship. Relations between Beijing and New Delhi remain constrained by their protracted border dispute, reciprocal fears of developments on the Tibetan plateau, arms race and military presence, rivalry in regional and global institutions, economic competition for resources and markets as well as diplomatic struggles. These give rise to mutual fears of strategic encirclement, which are played out in their relations with the countries in their shared neighbourhood and beyond. The future of India-China relations will be as consequential to everyone as US-China or China-Japan relations.
Sino-Indian Relations in the 21st Century: Economic and Security Implications takes place on Thursday 10 July in the Muirhead Tower on the University’s Edgbaston campus. Academics attending the conference will be representing such world-leading institutions as Fudan University (China), Delhi University (India), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), London School of Economics, Kings College London and the University of Birmingham. Organisers are hoping that the original papers presented and discussed will enable Sino-Indian relations to receive the same attention in Europe as other binational relationships in Asia.
Dr Tsering Topgyal, Lecturer in International Relations, Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) said: “China and India play crucial security roles across South and East Asia. Their relationship is one that needs to be managed carefully so it doesn’t endanger Asia and world interests. Both countries are nuclear powers and any economic fallout in either country would mean that everyone would be affected worldwide.
“The Chinese and the Indians had a distinct lack of history in strategic dealings with one another before China’s annexation of Tibet and with other countries responding to their simultaneous rise, there is a risk a situation is being created where other nations may have to choose between the two powers. The conference at the University of Birmingham will explore these issues, but also those that bring China and India closer together.”
Notes to Editors
This event is organised under the aegis of the POLSIS Asia Research Group and funded by POLSIS, the China Institute, University of Birmingham India Travel Fund and the College of Social Sciences Matched India Travel Fund.
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