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India’s Engagement in the South China Sea Dispute

Updated: Mar 6

India’s Engagement in the South China Sea Dispute

Vishwesh Sundar

Click here to buyMatternich, the German diplomat, observing contemporary Asia would have exclaimed, “When China sneezes; Southeast Asia catches a cold.” Chinese policies and claims in the South China Sea have a major impact on the littoral countries and the ASEAN bloc. The ASEAN countries are caught in a tug of war between growing dependence on China and opposing the historical claims of China in the South China Sea. The expanding maritime presence of China is also a cause of concern for India. This paper looks at the possibilities of India making inroads into the South China Sea region, and its capability to operate outside its comfort zone. The reasons for China’s aggressive behaviour as well as the tangible and intangible benefits of India engaging in this dispute are analysed. The post PCA verdict events, as well as certain policy suggestions have been dealt with, in this research paper.


• Foreword • Introduction • Historical Background • Legal Aspects of the Historical Claims • Political and Strategic Alliances • Diplomatic Relations • Military Benefits9 • Economic and Trade Gains • Social and Cultural Ties • PCA Verdict and the Events that Followed • Conclusion • References

About the Author: Vishwesh Sunder is an intern with the Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S). He completed his B.A (Economics, Political Science and Sociology) from Christ University, Bangalore. He is a foreign policy enthusiast and has been selected to pursue his Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at The Leiden University, The Hague. He has presented a talk on ‘India’s Soft Power in Europe’, at a seminar conducted in Christ University. He is an aspiring civil servant. He is also a passionate psephologist and had conducted surveys during the 2016 Tamil Nadu State Assembly elections.

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