Interpreting India
Interpreting India
Nov 11, 2021
China's Influence in South Asia with Deep Pal
Play • 42 min

In this episode, Deep Pal joins Shibani Mehta to delve deep into China’s influence in South Asia.  In recent years, China’s engagement in South Asia has expanded significantly beyond commercial and development projects to encompass political and security interests. While this interaction often targets the needs of specific countries, even states with relatively robust state institutions and civil society struggle to grapple with the implications of China’s expanded footprint. Those without strong governance remain even more vulnerable to external interference in national affairs.


China’s meteoric economic rise has resulted in a massive expansion in its international economic aid and development programs. China is thus emerging as an attractive alternative to the established players in the global development space, such as the IMF and the World Bank. However, analysts suggest that development aid is often unsustainable for the host country, creating onerous debt obligations while making only marginal contributions to local employment.  


How has China's profile as a key economic partner developed in the South Asian region? What impact has China’s economic aid had on its political influence in the region? And finally, how should India respond to China’s economic clout in South Asia? 



Deep Pal is a visiting scholar in the Asia program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also a non-resident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). Before this, he has worked with NBR, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., and at the Institute of International Relations in Taipei, Taiwan. He also has a decade’s experience as a broadcast journalist for some of the most-watched television stations in India. Deep has recently authored the report ‘China’s Influence in South Asia: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries’.  Twitter: @DeepPal_

Shibani Mehta is a research analyst with the Security Studies Program at Carnegie India. Her research focuses on India’s security and foreign policies. Twitter: @mehtasaurus


Additional Reading: 

1. China’s Influence in South Asia: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries by Deep Pal


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