Chou En-Lai at Bandung

Amitav Acharya

in East of India, South of China

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9780199461141
Published online April 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780199088904 | DOI:
Chou En-Lai at Bandung

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This chapter looks at how India’s relationship with China evolved prior to and during the Bandung Conference and the impact of the conference in fuelling Sino-Indian mistrust, although the Nehru–Chou rivalry at Bandung was clearly exaggerated by Western media and spies. By and large, Nehru, as the key player in Asian regionalism at this stage, succeeded in the goal of ‘introducing’ communist China to the rest of Asia—something that would have taken the new Chinese regime enormous effort and concessions had it tried to do it without India’s initiative. Bandung was the high point not only of India’s but also of communist China’s diplomatic engagement in Southeast Asia. And as noted, it was downhill thereafter for both powers, singly or otherwise. The 1962 war between Asia’s two largest nations put paid to any residual hopes for pan-Asianism and gave Southeast Asian countries an opportunity to assert their own voice and role in regional organization. This they did on a subregional basis—minus India and minus China.

Keywords: Chou En-Lai; pan-Asianism; charm offensive; Asian diplomacy; Sino-Indian rivalry; India; China; regional organization

Chapter.  10392 words. 

Subjects: International Relations ; Asian Politics

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