chapter  25
10 Pages

India and the China–Pakistan relationship

De-hyphenation and re-hyphenation
WithAndrew Small

This chapter looks at China’s attempts to pursue a more de-hyphenated approach to India and Pakistan following the launch of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in which Beijing sought to pursue a relationship with Pakistan that was less constrained by concerns about Indian reactions. It argues that these efforts have been abandoned, and are unlikely to be revived given the repercussions for Chinese interests on several fronts: competitive regional security dynamics, the slide in Sino-Indian relations, the lack of payoff in China’s ties with Pakistan, and the challenges that CPEC has faced on the ground. The result is likely to be a Sino-Pakistani relationship that resembles its pre-2015 pattern: deep, close, but with clear limitations, rather than the upgraded form that the de-hyphenation plans promised.