This paper argues that the India-China great power rivalry is shaping up to be the story of the first part of the twenty-first century.
The fiftieth anniversary of the 1962 war comes at a time when India, now a rising power, is enhancing its hard power through military acquisitions and soft power through increased diplomatic initiatives. Naval diplomacy is being employed.
For India, the anniversary provides an opportune time to review the legacy of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cold War Non-Alignment policy in favour of a judicious use of realpolitik.
Both India and China might further spread their “Spheres of Influence” in the Indo-Pacific region with the US willing to support New Delhi as part of its own forward policy in the region.
As the two powers become more economically interlinked, war is increasingly likely to be viewed as a secondary or last resort option by decision-makers in both New Delhi and Beijing.