As we head into a new century, the two most populous nations on earth, India and China, continue a long and tangled relationship. With a contested border, sharp eyes on the balance of power in Asia, economic competition, nuclear weapons, and daunting internal problems, their interaction will deeply affect not only stability and prosperity in the region, but also vital U.S. interests. The dynamics of the India-China relationship are little known to or understood by Americans.
The Asia Society and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars are therefore pleased to present The India-China Relationship: What the United States Needs to Know. This book is the result of years of collaborative efforts and the hard work of many dedicated individuals. The project that resulted in this book was inspired by the belief that U.S. policy makers, the academic community, and the informed public require fresh thinking and greater attention to India-China relations, as both countries promise to be of strategic importance to the United States in the decades ahead.
India and China are wary neighbors who have fought border wars and still have unresolved border issues left unattended but certainly not forgotten. India watches China carefully and keeps close tabs on China's friendly relationship with Pakistan. China also has its own concerns—for example, India's hosting of the Tibetan government in exile. India and China pay careful attention to each other's military developments, whether nuclear capabilities, planned blue-water navies, missile tests, or the exercises of troops along their common border. Moreover, there is the growing competition between these two countries in any number of areas: for markets and foreign direct investment, for closer ties with Southeast Asia, and for improved relations with the United States.
Against this backdrop, there has been a remarkable sparseness of scholarly attention to this relationship and a general lack of interaction between China and India scholars. As the project began, there existed only two book-length studies of India-China relations authored by Americans in the