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Economic Cooperation or Lasting Peace: Resolving the Paradox of Competitive Cooperation between China and India


This essay is a critical engagement with media coverage of China-India cooperative communication. I particularly focus on a popular Chinese magazine The Beijing Review and a major Indian newspaper The Hindu which have paid close attention to recent diplomatic activities between the 2 ex-colonial nations. Taking a postcolonial feminist critical stance, I argue that the media coverage champions current predominant emphasis on economic cooperation between the 2 countries, which is a major political priority, without adequate consideration for establishing positive peace. More specifically, I argue that China and India’s competitive drive to become autonomous global capitalist powers can undercut the possibility for lasting peace resulting in a paradoxical “cooperating-while-competing.” I draw from literature on Peace Studies to make the distinction between negative and positive peace and propose a notion of articulated cooperation as a more inclusive and sustainable form of cooperation.

Supriya Vestal

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