China-Pakistan Strategic Partnership and India’s Regional Ambitions in South Asia

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Abstract

Post-9/11 dynamic global political developments and the growing Indo-US strategic partnership has compelled Pakistan to seek strategic partnership with China and geared at maintaining the balance of power in South Asia. India is maximising its resources under the umbrella of Indo-US strategic partnership and working with the US on various sectors such as security, defence and energy to pursue its aspirations to be a regionally dominant power and to possess a blue water navy. Pakistan unaided and alone cannot counterbalance India’s regional ambitions. Thus, Pakistan with China established a strategic partnership to counter India’s hegemonic ambitions in the South Asian region. This paper will raise some questions about the latest contours of this partnership. Prime amongst them is: what kind of role is this partnership playing in South Asia? The paper argues that a China-Pakistan strategic partnership built around the development of Gwadar Port and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is playing the role of a balancer against India’s regional ambitions in South Asia. India has some serious security concerns about these mega development projects apprehending their geostrategic importance not only for both countries but also for the entire region. A neo-realist theoretical approach is used to describe both countries ‘strategic partnership’ in this paper. The paper further argues that India’s claim that the corridor route passes through the disputed territory of Northern Pakistan will not stop China and Pakistan from continuing the project.

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