That depends on which side you are
India’s Defence Ministry perceives China as a source of strategic threat. Well, it should.
But India’s collective perception of China need not necessarily be congruent with the Defence Ministry’s.
In the polite discourse of public statements and press commentaries, Chinese officials focus on the upside: shared global interests, complementary trade and the salutary effects of brisk competition between friendly neighbours. While these arguments all make some sense, they do not tell the whole story. In India, China can only see a potential rivalâ€”if not now, then soonâ€”for natural resources, foreign capital and, above all, export markets.
Pei Yuanying, a former Chinese ambassador to India, argues that such competition need not be a problem. â€œThe crucial pointâ€, he says, â€œis to see whether this competition is virtuous or vicious.â€ [The Economist]