, Volume 93, Number 1

Xiaoyu Pu
The parallel rise of India and China is one of the most significant strategic developments in the twenty-first century. While the West has enthusiastically welcomed the rise of India, it has been met with a more ambivalent response from China. India is sending complicated signals about its preferred status on the global stage. Struggling for recognition as a Great Power, India is also trying to maintain solidarity with developing countries. While Chinese elites mostly view it as a positive development, China’s accommodation of India’s rise has been partial, conditional and inconsistent. China’s interpretations of India’s signals largely depend on China’s own identity, as well as political calculations. India’s efforts to foster solidarity among developing countries resonate well with Chinese elites. The Chinese public has received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public diplomacy positively, and India’s diplomatic activism has increased its profile in the eyes of China’s policy elites. China is hesitating to accommodate some aspects of India’s Great Power aspirations, but status politics is not always a zero–sum game. Chinese elites see improvement in the Sino-Indian relationship as a condition for China’s greater acceptance of India’s Great Power aspirations, and there is still some room for bargaining and mutual accommodation. While there is great potential for cooperation between India and China, distrust and suspicions continue to shape the trajectories of the relationship.

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