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The Heritage Foundation: U.S.-India Relations: The China Factor

Author: Lisa Curtis
November 25, 2008


Lisa Curtis argues that as the competition between China and India for political and economic influence heats up, the U.S. should encourage India to play a more active role in the region.

With the completion of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement earlier this year, Washington's ties with New Delhi stand on the threshold of great promise. China's attempt to scuttle the agreement at the Sep­tember 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting was evidence for many Indians that China does not willingly accept India's rise on the world stage, nor the prospect of closer U.S.-India ties.

As the relationship between the world's oldest and the world's largest democracies develops, Washington will need to pay close attention to the dynamics of the India-China relationship. The future direction of rela­tions between China and India, two booming econo­mies that together account for one-third of the world's population, will be a major factor in determining broader political and economic trends in Asia directly affecting U.S. interests.

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