Author: Rajeswari Pillai RajagopalanRahul Prakash/Publisher: Observer Research FoundationYear: 2013Language: EnglishPages: 26ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
It is widely acknowledged that the 21st century will be an Asian century. The simultaneous rise of/re-emergence of major powers in Asia—China, Japan, Russia and India—provides opportunities and challenges. Asia has major military powers— six out of nine nuclear powers are in Asia—and some of the fastest growing economies in the world. While the rise of the “rest” as Fareed Zakaria noted in his book has been important, the rise of China in the last decade has been most dramatic. China's rise—with significant output in the economic, military and strategic spheres—has given shape to an Asia that is characterised by cooperation, competition and (potential for) conflict. In addition, the relative decline of the US or at least the perception of it following the long drawn-out wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has added complexities to an already uncertain and insecure Asia. Besides, the baggage of historical conflicts, unresolved border and territorial issues, and rising nationalism are further fuelling insecurities in the region.Closer home, India-China relations have gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. Progress in the last decade has essentially been dictated by economic drivers. While trade between the two countries increased from US$ 7 billion to over US$ 70 billion, it has not altered the overall nature of the ties, which are invariably on a “simmering tension mode”. India and China being neighbors need to make significant political investment in changing the course of their bilateral relations. As key powers in the emerging Asian strategic framework, the two countries have a responsibility in ensuring peace and stability in the region.