Think Tank (January to February 2019)
Dr Manjeet Pardesi (right) and Dr Rajesh Basrur, visiting professor in the South Asia Programme, RSIS
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Competition or Cooperation? US Responses to the Rise of China and India
18 Feb 2019
Amayun Jason Jari Emmanuel

Dr Manjeet Pardesi, Senior Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and an RSIS alumnus, gave a presentation on his upcoming book examining America’s disparate responses to the rise of China and India on 18 February 2019.

Titled “Competition or Cooperation? US Responses to the Rise of China and India”, Dr Pardesk’s presentation explored why a hegemon in the international system — i.e. the United States — would have varying policy responses to states whose economic and military growth challenged its dominance. He argued that both China and India had the potential to challenge America’s dominance role although the latter was about 15 years behind the former in economic terms.

Acknowledging that the United States, China and India have multidimensional relationships, Dr. Pardesi rejected traditional balance of power and liberal-normative explanations of policy variation as incomplete and simplistic. Instead, he posited a nine-dimensional test, centred around three key questions: What is the existing structure of the system? What changes are sought by the rising power (i.e., territorial, institutional or status)? By what means does the rising power seek this change (i.e., politically, economically or militarily)?

Dr Pardesi concluded that China and India differ in relation to the United States across almost all these dimensions, which explained American competition with China and (relative) cooperation with India. In addition, he posited that American accommodation of India’s foreign policy might be a strategic ploy by the United States to encourage India and China to expend resources competing against one another.

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