China's Good Neighborhood Diplomacy in South Asia (the cases of Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Primakov Institute of World Economy and International relations
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 8

In the contemporary world using of rigid methods of external policy increasingly loses its effectiveness. The popular concept of "soft power" is fully consistent with China's traditional strategy towards the outside world and it has received here a comprehensive and specific implementation in the country's political course. Meanwhile, the official line on the development of friendly and good-neighborly relations in the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China was clearly outlined during the era of Deng Xiaoping's rule and has been consistently developing since then, receiving new impulses for this. A peaceful and stable environment is seen as one of the key conditions for the country's development. Taking into account the traditional competition between China and India, Beijing's success in maintaining bilateral relations with the countries of South Asia is of particular interest. The article examines the mechanisms of «soft power» used by the PRC in relation to the neighboring states of South Asia (Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan) within the framework of Beijing's declared «good neighborhood diplomacy». The author analyzes its implementation by the cases of four areas of interaction: infrastructure construction, trade and investment, political contacts, humanitarian assistance and the spread of cultural influence. In each case, the Chinese policy towards Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and India is sequentially examined, the most significant initiatives are explored, and the factors that hinder and help in the implementation of these initiatives are identified. The author comes to the conclusion that the very idea of «good neighborhood diplomacy» is rooted in the Chinese foreign policy tradition, but its implementation faces a number of both internal and external factors.

KeywordsChina, good neighborhood diplomacy, South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal
Publication date23.08.2021
Number of characters26413
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