Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

The asymmetrical threat perceptions in China-India relations after the 1998 nuclear tests.

Fang, Tien-Sze (2010) The asymmetrical threat perceptions in China-India relations after the 1998 nuclear tests. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (10MB) | Preview


This thesis draws on evidence from interactions between China and India over the past few years to make an empirical case for the existence and impact of asymmetrical perceptions of threat between the two countries. The major issues of China-India relations, including the nuclear issue, the boundary problem, the Tibet issue, regional competition and cooperation, and China-India relations in the global context, are examined. The first aim of the thesis is to highlight the asymmetry of the threat perceptions between China and India and has explained the interactions of Sino-Indian relations. India tends to be deeply apprehensive of threats from China, while China appears comparatively unconcerned about threats from India. The second contention in this study is that Sino-Indian relations are constrained by the asymmetry between their threat perceptions. The asymmetry in perceptions of threat will result in a dilemma for India. India will try to reduce the sense of insecurity by adopting some countermeasures, such as developing nuclear weapons, allying with other countries, and undermining China's influence. However, India is also very cautious and avoids angering China. On the contrary, China will be in favour of the status quo, and feel no urgent need to sort out the boundary disputes. The Chinese side has ignored the asymmetry and is in no mood to share India's expectations and concerns. Thus, this thesis argues that this asymmetry has made it difficult for China and India to forge shared knowledge and to set a common agenda around which their expectations could converge. India will be on a perennial quest for changes in Sino-Indian relations, such as a final resolution of the border issue and securing more credible nuclear deterrent against China. The asymmetry in threat perceptions is seen as a destabilising factor in China-India relations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics