China and India share a contested border and an uncomfortable neutrality in the Ukraine War — but not much else


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This week on the Sinica Podcast, Kaiser is joined by Manjari Chatterjee Miller, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations and associate professor of political science at Boston University; and Manoj Kewalramani, chairperson of the Indo-Pacific Research Programme and a China studies fellow at the Takshashila Institution, a leading Indian public policy education center. They offer fascinating analysis and insight into the complex relationship between China and India in light of the Russo-Ukrainian War, as powerful and populous Asian nations caught between their commitments to Russia and their well-founded fear of alienating the West. Their predicaments, however, are about all they have in common: despite Chinese overtures, New Delhi and Beijing have too much historical baggage, too many open wounds, and visions for a post-war geopolitical map that are too divergent to allow them to make anything like common cause.

3:31 – Indian media positions, political elite takes, and popular opinion on the Russo-Ukrainian War

9:05 – Is there a partisan divide in India on the Ukraine War?

12:44 – Manoj’s amazing potted history of Soviet/Russian relations with India, from 1947 to the eve of the war

29:38 – Manjari on how China figures into the Indo-Soviet/Indo-Russian relationship

35:33 – China as a factor in Indo-U.S. relations

43:17 – China’s relative tone-deafness when it comes to India

55:56 – Sources of tension in the Russia-India relationship

A full transcript of this podcast is available at


Manjari: Bridgerton on Netflix

Manoj: The 1995 Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Kaiser: The high school comedy Metal Lords on Netflix; and Matt Sheehan, “The Chinese Way Of Innovation: What Washington Can Learn From Beijing About Investing In Tech” in Foreign Affairs