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A Defining Rivalry in South Asia

Feb 24, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held a strategic dialogue with Chinese officials in Beijing on Feb. 22 to discuss some of the issues that have strained the countries' relationship over the past year.
Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held a strategic dialogue with Chinese officials in Beijing on Feb. 22 to discuss some of the issues that have strained the countries' relationship over the past year.
(BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images)

India and China have a complicated relationship. Though the two nations -- home to over one-third of the world's population -- are partners in a $70 billion trade relationship, they are also rivals. As China's economic and military clout has grown, it has worked to increase its influence in South Asia, undertaking infrastructure projects in countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In the process, however, it has encroached on what India traditionally considers its sphere of influence. It is within this context, that Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar kicked off a three-nation tour Feb. 18, during which he participated in India's first strategic dialogue with the Chinese government. In fact, India's relationship with China colored the whole trip: Even Jaishankar's stops in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the other destinations on his trip, highlighted the economic and strategic competition in South Asia between the two countries....

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