Bangladesh and Nepal Are Not Destined to Repeat Sri Lanka’s Mistakes

South Asia is in trouble. The economic crisis in Sri Lanka has led to an uprising ousting the government, with crowds taking over the president’s office and residence.  The country has defaulted on foreign debt and asked the international community for help with basic necessities. In Nepal, concerns over depleting foreign exchange reserves and increasing inflation have prompted the government to reduce fuel consumption... Continue Reading →

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: The New Player In India-Russia Relations Is East, Not West

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, much has been said about India’s equivocation. Yet not enough attention has been on the immutable realities beyond India’s control that will affect its policy from here on. Russia’s actions have raised the stakes for everyone, including India. While American intelligence indicated the likelihood of war, most, including China, were... Continue Reading →

Countering China’s expanded footprint and influence in South Asia

Over the past decade, China has expanded its footprint in South Asia beyond infrastructure financing and development partnerships to include political and governance cooperation, security exchanges, and people-to-people relationships. However, the expansion comes at a cost that is beyond economic. In our project, China’s Impact on Strategic Regions, we aimed to understand the nature of... Continue Reading →

How South Asian states are managing Chinese influence

A day after the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, China dispatched a 68-member search-and-rescue team to aid its southern neighbor. Within months, it had pledged over $650 million to help Nepal. The event also acted as a springboard for several long-term Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief initiatives, such as an MoU on risk... Continue Reading →

Managing Chinese influence in S Asia

Since 2020, China has allowed 97 per cent of Bangladeshi goods duty-free access to its domestic market. Simultaneously, it is helping the country to diversify its export base and move its industry up the value chain. This becomes all the more significant when you consider that China is not among Bangladesh's top ten export partners.... Continue Reading →

Chinese Influence in South Asia

In June 2021, Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa inaugurated the biggest nephrology hospital in South Asia. The $59 million hospital was a gift from China to the people of Sri Lanka, and was built in response to a request from then president Maithripala Sirisena in 2015. The state of the art hospital symbolises how Sri... Continue Reading →

Making Sense of China’s Dream

After more than two months of high decibel sabre-rattling, the standoff between India and China in the Himalayas entered a process of phased deescalation in late July. This by no means suggests that the current crisis is coming to an end — merely that it is moving into the next stage of what is likely... Continue Reading →

Multilateralism With Chinese Characteristics: Bringing in the Hub-and-Spoke

Shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that “neither had China entered our territory, nor occupied our posts,” on June 19, in reference to the tragic incident in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released their version of events. China turned Modi’s statement around to accuse India of transgressing and trying... Continue Reading →

Playing the long game with China

The news of the terrible tragedy in the Galwan Valley on June 15, expectedly, evoked anger, sadness, and loathing in all of us. Within hours, however, the tragedy of the moment was sullied by a tragic-comedy of errors. In one instance, television anchors struggled to read an imagined list of Chinese casualties circulating on WhatsApp;... Continue Reading →

Health Silk Road — How China plans to make BRI essential in Covid-hit South Asia

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi finally admitted late last month that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely slowed down Beijing’s flagship foreign policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative. He, however, asserted that the impact was temporary, and the BRI will be back, stronger than ever. Yi’s comment follows some creative policymaking from China as the pandemic spread across the... Continue Reading →

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