China-India Relations One Year After the Wuhan Summit

A China in the World Podcast

In May 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Wuhan for an informal summit that many say helped reset the relationship following the Doklam crisis. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Rudra Chaudhuri, Director of Carnegie India, and Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow at Carnegie India, about the state of China-India relations one year after Wuhan, as well as the implications of Trump’s America First policies on New Delhi-Beijing relations.

Chaudhuri discusses the evolution of the China-India relationship, saying that since the late 1990s, regular diplomatic meetings and agreements between the two countries have provided stability and prevented a breakdown in relations following nearly two decades of non-engagement. Raghavan argues Beijing and New Delhi’s simultaneous rise, however, has led both countries to take a more assertive approach to issues such as border disputes, resulting in the Doklam crisis. Chaudhuri says there are opportunities for practical cooperation between China and India on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). New Delhi will not participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), however, nor officially sign on to the BRI, given that India believes it infringes on its interests. Despite being neighbors, Chinese and Indian citizens do not understand each other on a cultural and historical level, Raghavan says. Both scholars advocate for the two countries to revive programs that improve communication and people-to-people exchanges to help build trust in the bilateral relationship. India and the United States share similar concerns with regard to China, and Washington plays an important role in India-China relations, Chaudhuri says. However, India’s relations with China are still primarily driven by its own interests and needs.