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Talking About a ‘Rising China’: An Analysis of Indian Official Discourse 1996- 2012

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  • IDSA Occasional Paper No. 38

    This Occasional Paper looks at the idea of China being a potential security threat as spoken about in India's official discourse that is, as written down in annual reports or governmental statements or mentioned in the speeches of Indian officials. It does not analyse India's foreign policy, the strategic environment, or offer a new perspective on the development of bilateral security relations. Instead, the aim is to identify which drivers and themes figure most prominently in New Delhi’s publicly uttered concerns over a rising China, and to see if, when and how India’s official rhetoric has changed over time. The three themes that figure largely in the discourse--the contested border, nuclear proliferation, and China’s inroads into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) are discussed in separate sections. The Occasional Paper begins with a generic analysis of the overall discourse, and discusses the specific themes identified above subsequently. This Occasional Paper does not address statements made by retired officials or servicemen or reports or articles. Although their opinions give valuable insights, they do not, strictly speaking, speak in any official capacity.

    About the Author

    Peter van der Hoest is a Ph. D Candidate at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan. His research focuses on comparative official and public discourses over a rising China.

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