An assertive China presents Prime Minister Modi with his most intractable foreign policy challenge, but there are indications that Beijing may be getting a little edgy.
China considered itself to be a rival of the US. In its world view, India was a regional player, at best the first among equals in South Asia.
David vs Goliath
In absolute terms, there is some merit in this argument. China’s $11.4-trillion economy, the world’s second largest, is five times India’s, which is world’s sixth largest, with a GDP of $2.3 trillion in 2016.
Last year, China’s per capita income, at $8,260, was five times the comparable figure of $1,718 for India. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of goods, its biggest trading nation and its military budget, at $131 billion is more than three times larger than India’s annual defence spending of $40 billion.