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 →
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 →
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 →
November 2021: Interview with Geeta Mohan on the narrative of Chinese debt-trap diplomacy in South Asia. Available here.
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 →
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 →
October 2021: Interview on "China’s Influence in South Asia: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries" study. Available here.
Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka showcase the diversity of China’s engagement strategies in a very multidimensional region but also make clear that influencers across South Asia are learning from each other’s experiences with Chinese money and power. The complete paper is available on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website here.
June 2020: Explainer on the implication of the BRI and the Health Silk Road as a part of the initiative for the world, particularly South Asia for Carnegie India. Available here.
Signals may not speak as loudly as actions, but they go a long way in diplomacy. Narendra Modi’s decision to invite all South Asian heads of state to his inauguration signaled that the neighborhood would be central in his foreign policy. Elected on a mandate to boost India’s sagging growth numbers, Modi knows he has... Continue Reading →