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The Great Power 'Great Game' between India and China: 'The Logic of Geography'

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The simultaneous rise of China and now India is a fundamental factor for understanding the twenty-first century. In rising as Great Powers, a relative term, they are coming up against each other across Asia and its surrounding waters. Traditional geopolitical models, Mackinder, Spykman and Mahan point to their spatial politics around Central Asia, South Asia, Pacific Asia and the Indian Ocean. Actual spatial settings are combined with perceived spatial outlooks. These powerful neighbouring states seek to continue rising, and constrain the other where necessary through mutual encirclement and alliances/proxies. This type of 'Great Game' is evident in the military-security, diplomatic and economic areas. Globalisation has not replaced regionalism, nor has geoeconomics replaced geopolitics. The stakes are high as is their need for securing access to energy resources for their economics-led rise to Great Power status. Some cooperation is evident, in line with IR liberalism-functionalism. However, geopolitical IR realism and security dilemma perceptions still shape much of their actions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics and History, Brunel University, London, UK

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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