The Sino-Indian Rivalry Is Reshaping Asia
By standing up to Chinese territorial encroachments, India has openly challenged Xi Jinping’s expansionism in a way that no other world power has done. The current military stalemate in the Himalayas serves as yet another reminder that Xi has picked a border fight with India that he cannot win.
NEW DELHI – Three years after China stealthily began encroaching on India’s territory in the Himalayas, no end is in sight for the two countries’ border standoff. While the rival military buildups and intermittent clashes have received little attention in the West, the escalating border confrontation has set in motion a long-term rivalry that could reshape Asian geopolitics.
By locking horns with China despite the risk of a full-scale war, India has openly challenged Chinese power in a way no other world power, including the United States, has done in this century. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategic overreach has caused India to shift away from its previous appeasement policy and accelerate its military buildup, turning a potential partner into an enduring foe, while appearing determined to forestall a Sinocentric Asia.
Similarly, Xi’s muscular revisionism and geopolitical ambitions have forced Japan and Australia to readjust their strategic frameworks and work to counter China’s expansionism in the Indo-Pacific. By drawing up plans to double defense spending by 2027, Japan has effectively abandoned its pacifist postwar national-security policy. Australia, for its part, has renounced its previous hedging approach and joined the AUKUS defense pact with the US and the United Kingdom.