Demystifying Big Powers Interplay: China and India Rivalry in Nepal

Date December 19, 2018
Time 2.00p.m. - 4.00p.m.
Venue ICS Seminar Room, IPS Building, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
Language English
International politics is the realm where great powers constantly seek opportunities to expand their hegemonic role. In this realm, small states on the periphery of great powers face intense pressures, leading to limits on their sovereignty. Nepal, a landlocked country between China and India, is a classic case of a small state striving to preserve its sovereignty. The two Asian powers have been locked in an intense security competition to expand their hegemony in Nepal. Nepal’s strategic position and role in ensuring the stability of the region has been heightened in the post 1990. While China has already reserved a seat at the global high table, India is striving to claim its place there. But an unstable or hostile Nepal can skew geopolitical equations in the region and divert the attentions of the Asian powers away from accelerating their economic growth. Thus, while both India and China need to keep Nepal in their sphere of influence, they can only do it gently, lest the delicate balance of power is not upset. Here lies Nepal’s opportunity to play one neighbour against other in order to maintain its sovereignty and ensure its economic progress. In this pretext, the presentation explains the behavior of small states like Nepal in international politics, its relations with China, India factor in Nepal-China relations and the impact of BRI on Nepal.


Pramod JAISWALSenior Fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (New Delhi)