China and India: Cooperation or Conflict?

China and India: Cooperation or Conflict?

China and India: Cooperation or Conflict?

China and India: Cooperation or Conflict?

Excerpt

India's nuclear tests of May 1998, followed by Pakistan's copycat tests the same month, remain a watershed event in the annals of global arms control and nonproliferation and mark a dramatic transformation of the geostrategic environment in South Asia. Strategic analysts and area specialists have rightly focused their attention on the growing tension between India and Pakistan, first manifest in the Kargil crisis of 1999, then in a series of terrorist attacks, including the dramatic 13 December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, and finally in the eyeball-to-eyeball military standoff witnessed during India's Operation Parakram (Might) in the first half of 2002. Meanwhile, developments in ballistic missile programs in both countries, along with the introduction of and debates on nuclear doctrines and force structures, constitute a destabilizing and potentially costly arms race between these archrivals. The fact that the conflict over and in Kashmir could escalate and even precipitate a nuclear exchange is not out of the question.

Placing the Indo-Pakistani rivalry aside for the moment, however, the broader ramifications and strategic fallout of the May 1998 nuclear tests extend beyond the South Asian dyad. Of particular importance is the evolving security relationship between India and China in the post–May 1998 environment and how this evolution is likely to affect their disputes over unresolved territorial issues, their respective relationships with Pakistan, their medium- to long-term arms control and nonproliferation policies and commitments, and prospects for regional security in the coming years. The emerging relationship between the two Asian giants may not be confined only . . .

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