China in India’s Neighbourhood: Connectivity, Political Messaging and Military Diplomacy

  • Jabin T Jacob Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida & National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, India
Keywords: Chinese Foreign Policy, South Asia, Infrastructure Development, Military Diplomacy, Propaganda


This essay examines three approaches in Chinese foreign and security policies at work in India‟s neighbourhood with the help of three brief case studies involving Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The first looks at how China has engaged with Nepal through connectivity projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The second case study looks at Chinese attention to Bhutan especially in the context of the Doklam conflict with Indian in mid-2017. The third and final case study describes Beijing‟s military diplomacy with Sri Lanka. These case studies provide an overview of the range of Chinese activities, approaches and interests in South Asia that New Delhi often has trouble appreciating or accepting. This article argues that accepting the reality of these Chinese approaches and understanding them are essential for India to rethink and reinvigorate its own neighbourhood policy.


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