India-China Relations in the Age of Xi Jinping

Chinese and Indian troops at standoff at India's border with Bhutan in summer 2017; India's Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi meet

The leaders of China and India, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, have nationalist tendencies with a pragmatic bend. Varying economic growth for the two rival nations and contrasting systems of governance – one increasingly authoritarian and the other democratic – have given China the upper hand as a power broker in Asia, suggests Shyam Saran, former foreign secretary of India and a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. China is taking a conciliatory approach for the time being due to unpredictability in the global economy and regional security. Saran analyzes how leadership influences the Chinese-Indian relationship: Xi and Modi rely on leader-to-leader engagement and focus on a “strategic and global dimension” beyond typical dynamics of bilateral relations. Both men explore numerous areas where compromise can be pursued, allowing both emerging powers to focus on pressing matters at home and abroad during a period of great uncertainty. – YaleGlobal