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Assessing China’s Influence in South Asia

活动系列: 中国和全球南方

A camp built by Chinese state owned mining company MCC at Mes Ainak, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Jerome  Starkey/Flick

China balances a set of complex relationships with its neighbors in South Asia. Tensions with India extend not only to an unsettled border where clashes have broken out, but also to broader regional competition for influence across the Indian subcontinent. Separately, China's long heralded friendly ties with Pakistan have grown more complicated amid fits and starts of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In Afghanistan, Beijing has maintained a delicate but friendly relationship with the Taliban since their 2021 takeover, and China may look to revive a stalled mining project and pursue energy deals. How has the strain between Chinese economic and security priorities played out in South Asia? This virtual panel brought together experts to weigh in on Chinese perspectives on its ties to the region and how South Asian partners view China’s expanding land-bound and maritime influence.

This event was co-sponsored by the Walsh School of Foreign Service Asian Studies Program and the McCourt School of Public Policy’s East Asian Policy Association with the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University.


Zhiyong Hu is a professor in the Institute for International Studies of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He researches China’s neighborhood diplomacy with a special focus on the strategy, politics, security, and diplomacy of Southeast Asia and South Asia, Sino-U.S. relations, and China’s marine security strategy. 

Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program and director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India's relations with China and the United States, as well as U.S. and Indian approaches in the Indo-Pacific. 

Jingdong Yuan is an associate senior fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He is also an associate professor of international security at the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney. Yuan’s research focuses on Indo–Pacific security, Chinese foreign policy, Sino–Indian relations, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. He is currently working on a book manuscript on China’s relations with South Asia. 

Evan Medeiros (moderator) is the Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies at the School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow with the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University. Medeiros has in-depth experience in U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific from his time on the National Security Council as director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, and then as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia under President Barack Obama.