For long a marginal sphere in geopolitics, South Asia is now witnessing the beginnings of a rivalry that are altering the strategic landscape of the region. The growing rivalry between China and India in the region has a powerful underlying message for India - being marginalized within its own geographical sphere by China. This working paper argues that a strategic paradox exists in South Asia with India remaining the central pillar and regional superpower – owing more to geography - while China is fast making inroads into the region, hoping to off-balance India in the process and emerge as the new fulcrum. This working paper attempts to locate the China-India rivalry in South Asia from a critical perspective and will elaborate in detail the variable presented by Sri Lanka in shaping and emerging as the locus of this rivalry.
Keywords: India, China, South Asia, Sri Lanka, geopolitical, security, critical frame, engagement, paradox, strategic
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