- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

China-India Relations Since Pokhran II: Assessing Sources of Conflict and Cooperation

Mark W. Frazier

This article assesses recent changes in bilateral relations between China and India following the South Asian nuclear tests of May 1998. As states, China and India share a number of similar problems and challenges, yet their bilateral relationship is one that remains fairly understudied by scholars and policy analysts. This gap in the literature is quickly being filled with new studies on Sino-Indian relations. This article first discusses China's fairly restrained reaction to India's nuclear tests and developments in Sino-Indian relations since 1998. It then examines several recent studies of various facets of the bilateral relationship. A number of institutional features particular to the foreign policy-making communities in China and India are identified as possible sources for the conduct of Sino-Indian relations and prospects for their future development analyzed. Among the most significant of these features is the degree of foreign policy conflict and consensus between civilian and military officials within each country.