China and India’s soft rivalry in the Gulf region

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4 Citations (Scopus)


China and India have significant interests in the Gulf region. Their ties with the region are not limited to just the economic domain but, in fact, go beyond it to include the security and political domains. Consequently, to protect their interests, China and India have been pursuing various policies to engage with the region. These policies have been linked to their long-time spatial and positional rivalry in Asia. This article argues that the China–India rivalry in the Gulf region can be classified as a soft rather than hard rivalry. Unlike their rivalry in the Indian Ocean, seen as a hard rivalry, in which both powers are trying to contain and counter the power and presence of the other, the essence of their rivalry in the Gulf region is geared towards each power looking to strengthen its interest and not to directly undermine the interests of the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-20
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Indian Ocean Region
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • China–India rivalry
  • Gulf region
  • Indian Ocean
  • International relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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