For the first time in its remembered history, multiple nations in South Asia are in direct geo-politico-strategic friction with one another, with a reality that seriously challenges the “balance” in the region. New power-brokers have entered the fray, becoming active vectors in calibrating earlier tensions — the increasing regional influence of China through its “Belt and Road Initiative”, the dynamics of South Asian investments in sub-Saharan Africa, the emergence of Iran and its role in South Asia, the long and slow establishment ofthe state of Afghanistan — alongside the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, strengthening Blue Finance in the Indian Ocean, and the bellicosity of nuclear-powered nationalisms.
The LSE South Asia Centre, in collaboration with LSE IDEAS and The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), will host a series of virtual Roundtables to discuss the complexities at the heart of this scenario: the gradual but sure loss of India’s control of the geo-strategic narrative; the strengthening of relations between Nepal and China; Pakistan’s increasing intolerance of Afghanistan; the challenge of India’s “Act East” policy; and China’s sure and steady grip over the region, to name but a few.
Each Roundtable will invite experts of the new alongside the old, and produce a Working Policy Paper.
The Dragon’s Ring: China in South Asia
Date/Time: Tuesday, 13 October/3-4:30pm
Speakers: Filippo Boni (@FilippoBoni1) is Lecturer in Politics & International Studies, Open University, UK, and is a specialist in the politics of Chinese investments in South Asia; Li Li is Deputy Director-General & Senior Fellow, Insitute for International Relations, Tsinghua University, Beijing; Rahul Roy-Chaudhury is Senior Fellow for South Asia at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London; Nilanthi Samaranayake (@nilanthis) is Director, Strategy & Policy Analysis Program, Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), Virginia, USA, and is an expert on China's maritime presence in South Asia.
Moderator: Chris Alden is Professor, International Relations, LSE, and Co-Director, LSE IDEAS.
Chair: Nilanjan Sarkar is Deputy Director, LSE South Asia Centre.