The research paper observes the reflective variations that took place in the affairs of South Asia and the major powers. This paper includes the pre-Cold war era, the Cold war era, and the post-Cold war era. The researchers argue the power of four major states; i.e. The British Empire, the United States, China, and Russia. This research study drives more to present the consequence of a realistic study that sparks out theoretical rationale.



South Asia before decolonization was known as the Indian sub-continent. It was recognized as a separate region after colonization. Most of the Asian regional blocks or other continents, to a larger extent, are a creation of the Cold war era and the end of World War II. South Asia is a sub-region of Asian landmass including the contemporary states of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Bhutan. It is about 4,480,000 km2 or 10% of the continent and is also known as the Indian subcontinent. South Asia is highly populated with various ethnicities and cultures. The Himalayan Mountains margin South Asia to the north. Nepal is situated sideways of the border and is to some extent of a bumper country amid India and China. 

The British occupied the South Asian region for more than ninety years. Colonization carried organized management, a railway structure of conveyance, and huge docks cities used for the transfer of merchandise fromSouth Asia. The administrative boundaries were recognized for South Asia by British colonists. South Asian port cities are cores for worldwide trade and expansion. India has been emerging as a powerful economy established on a rising info zone, wellbeing maintenance, and industrialization. Pakistan’s economy is struggling below the over populace growing and religiousextremism in the state. Once Bangladesh and Pakistan were one single state. Bangladesh was previously known as Eastern Pakistan. Pakistan, China, and India, all three states have acquired nuclear weapons.


Q.1: What are the regional and security interests of the USA in South Asia?

  1. What role does Chinese influence play in the US’s relations with the South Asian region?

Q.2: How is China Struggling as a rising power in South Asia as per the contemporary time?

     a) How do the interests of China in South Asia influence China’s foreign policies?

Q.3:  What are Russia’s Foreign policy interests in the South-Asian region?

    a) How is Russia undermining the USA’s interests and influence in the region?

Q.4: What were the main interests of British Colonialism in the South Asia region?

a) What were the effects of decolonization in South Asia?



Regional stability in South Asia is significant to the national security interests of the United States. The challenges faced by South Asia provides opportunities to bring a positive change. In any case, the assaults on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington DC, realized the concerns about regional security in South Asia to the fore.[1]The United States has an enduring interest in promoting regional security because it can affect security and stability beyond the region. 

Ever since 9/11, the fight against terrorism is giving way to a broader range of interests. China’s rise, often neglected as a factor in South Asia policy, is encouraging a more strategic U.S. approach to Asia policy as a whole; however, rising U.S. policy interest has not anchored on a single issue but a set of core issues. These include counterterrorism (where intelligence agencies have particular influence), Afghanistan (where the military has a significant say), India (where commercial and diplomatic interests dominate), Pakistan (where counterterrorism, Afghanistan, and nonproliferation communities converge), and the broader strategic “rebalancing” toward Asia.


The interests of the U.S in the region are not bound, they involve a range of policies. Whether preventing a conflict between India and Pakistan or between India and China represents a vital national interest for the US. Ensuring the security of the region’s nuclear weapons is also a vital U.S. interest. South Asia already contains more than 23 percent[2] of the world’s population, and this is rising.



The conflict in Afghanistan involving the Afghan Government, the U.S, and the Taliban has evolved as the NATO forces are handing over responsibility to the Afghan military. The principal strategic success in Afghanistan has been denying terrorists seeking to attack the U.S. homeland access to Afghanistan. The principal medium-term challenges remain to shape the future of Afghanistan to ensure stability and preventing a return to a civil war fueled by Afghanistan’s neighbors as was the case in the early 1990s. Notwithstanding the enormous efforts and sacrifices involved in U.S. Afghan policy since 9/11, a narrower emphasis on vital national interests has provided “a necessary and good course correction,” according to Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs. Continued efforts to stabilize Afghanistan will remain a difficult and expensive challenge for many years to come, argues Michael Walker.


This relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships for the United States as India is a rising economic and political power. Unsurprisingly, the U.S.-India relationship has flourished since the 1990s.[3] This change drew on growing commercial ties following Indian economic liberalization in the 1990s and the active U.S. diplomacy that led to the signature U.S.-India civil nuclear deal during the George W. Bush administration, which cemented India’s distinct status in the eyes of Washington policymakers. President Obama’s announcement of U.S. support for a permanent Indian seat on the UN Security Council in November 2010 was another important signal of India’s changed status in U.S. eyes.


U.S-Pakistan relations meanwhile have been under considerable stress.[4] The Obama administration’s initial focus on enhancing the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, advanced by the $1.5 billion/year Kerry-Lugar-Berman package of bilateral aid, at first promised a transformed bilateral relationship. The past troubles in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship had generated a so-called trust deficit on both sides.[5] Pakistanis would most regularly point to the aftermath of the 1980s Afghan war and the resulting increase in weaponry and militants in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands. Washington perceived the Pakistanis as having dissembled whether over Pakistan’s nuclear program (and proliferation) or its support to non-state militant groups in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Pakistan was also seen to hedge on Afghanistan, unwilling to rein in the Taliban or the Haqqani network, and undermining U.S. security goals in Afghanistan. And South Asia specialist Alan Kronstadt concludes: “U.S.-Pakistan relations are fluid at present, but running a negative course.” This lack of trust is reflected in the Pakistani public opinion of the United States.


U.S.-China relations from the 1970s to the late 1980s were based on realpolitik and pragmatism. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and a rapid rise of Chinese economic power, a policy of realism toward China has been replaced by an active policy debate in Washington. This is driven by global concerns about the balance of power and by arguments about liberal values. Other concerns include cyber-security; the management of the Chinese devaluation of the yuan to help its exporters; and what, if any, threats will be posed by Chinese ownership of U.S. firms. Some U.S. foreign policy advisors advocate engagement, arguing that only by fostering a positive U.S.-China relationship can Washington advance and protect its global (and Asian) interests. The United States and China enjoy mutual benefits from economic interdependence, open channels of communication between American and Chinese officials, and re-established military-to-military contacts. Some argue that the two largest economies can engage to build an international order in which both states have significant influence.[6]


Bangladesh, a major state in its own right, is a moderate Muslim democracy. Nepal with its sensitive position between India and China makes it particularly vulnerable to changes in the Beijing-Delhi relationship. Bhutan is moving toward democracy and has enormous hydroelectric potential at a capacity of 30,000 megawatts.[7] Sri Lanka’s military vanquished the Tamil Tigers, and the choices the government now makes will shape its future political framework. The Maldives has emerged from a long period of dictatorship to hold democratic elections and faces the challenge of furthering non-tourism economic development given an enormous increase in the youth demographic.

Based on the U.S. logic of power balance, U.S-Indian defense and security cooperation is expected to expand and the United States is committed to supporting India’s growing relationships. On land, American cooperation with Pakistan and Afghanistan is becoming more conditional and transitional. The key driving forces behind the evolution of the United States South Asia strategy might be the geopolitical and geo-economic consequences of China’s rise and its increasing presence in South Asia. This is the first time that the United States has drawn out what kind of South Asia it sees as desirable, one that can help it maintain a favorable position when competing with China. If India chooses to balance China in the region through a “soft alliance” with the United States and others, then China is likely to increase its influence with other regional states.



The struggle of China as a rising power largely structures the world’s geopolitics. Chinese geopolitics has entered the phase of adaptation to an uncertain world. Soon after coming to power, the Chinese President,  Xi Jinping’s main objective was to assert Chinese hegemony in every sphere of human life; diplomatic and political, economic and financial, and military. According to Xi China will deepen relations with its neighbors per the principle of amity, mutual benefits, and inclusiveness, and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors.[8]  Thus to safeguard the country’s interests diligently, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing has approached the South Asian countries i.e. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, and a few more, in all political domains. Each one of South Asian neighboring countries of China has been approached assiduously to achieve the national interests of China.

South Asian Neighbors and China


Two informal summits held between China and India recently. One in October 2019 when Xi visited Chennai and the other in 2018, was held in Wuhan. In this recent meeting between the Indian Prime Minister Modi and Xi Jinping, Xi stated that for both the countries to have cordial and long-term relations a hundred years plan needs to be mapped out. Despite the sublime expressions of the summit, it was acknowledged that many differences exist between both and the highlighted part of the official readout was that the doubts should be discarded and the differences among the two countries should be carefully dealt with.

The bone of contention between India and China’s relations is the territorial disagreement over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin. India has also been accused of blocking the Chinese troop movements at the Line of Actual Control at Galway Valley and Pangong Tso Lake and also of the construction of defense facilities into Chinese territory.[9]  Therefore tension exists along the LAC.

Another matter of discussion was a military exercise held by India at a place known as South Tibet, in China. This place is known as the holy site of Twang and is intrinsic to resolve a dispute namely the Dalai Lama dispute, which has flustered the China-India relations for years. Another matter is related to the site of Ladakh, which still is a cause of agitation between the two.

The Kashmir issue also plays a key role here, China was extremely bothered by Modi’s decision of stripping off Kashmir and sending the Indian troops there. Therefore the opinions of China were voiced at the United Nations on behalf of Pakistan. Considering Beijing’s “all-weather” partnership with Pakistan, China has stood with Pakistan on every issue against India. And thus India is frustrated over the activities of China in Pakistan such as CPEC and the development of naval facilities at Gawadar port. Beijing’s BRI flagship initiative, CPEC highly agitates India as India is the one neighboring country of China which declined the offer of participation and the other neighbors of India are participating in the CPEC.


The summit held between Xi and Prime minister Imran Khan was a lofty eloquence marked by mutual understanding and strategic trust, as stated by the Joint press release. The commitment to supporting the core issues of one another’s side was reaffirmed. The commitment to the ONE CHINA POLICY was reaffirmed too.

UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreements were discussed regarding the Kashmir Issue. Also, Modi’s decision to stripping it off and allocating troops in the region was discussed and how through the UN’s charter the issue can be resolved. Concerning the Pulwama attack of 2019,Beijing stated that a harmonious relationship between them is important for regional peace, stability, and development and serves the interests of India and Pakistan fundamentally. Hoping both sides will exercise restraint and take actions that will help stabilize the situation in the region and improve bilateral relations instead of doing the opposite.

The major concern of China with Pakistan, counterterrorism was discussed. Pakistan’s sacrifices and untiring efforts in the cause of counter-terrorism were highly appreciated by China. Furthermore, it was stated that Pakistan has China’s support in the implementation of its National Action Plan. CPEC was also discussed. Both sides showed their keenness towards the execution and growth of the project. Their determination to speedily execute CPEC so that its growth potential can be fully realized making it a high-quality demonstration project of BRI was divulged in the Xi-Khan Summit.

Further, Pakistan was appreciated for putting in efforts to bring peace and harmony in Afghanistan.[10]  Pakistan is very essential for China to gain a better understanding of the situation in Afghanistan. However, the idea of extending CPEC to Afghanistan has also been put forward. [11]


As far as Afghanistan is concerned, China keenly wants the Taliban to become a part of the future government. The Chinese policy of giving complete political liberty to all ethnic groups to maintain peace and tranquility was highlighted recently in September, therefore a need was felt to give Afghanistan broad representation in political life.

Afghanistan is being considered to be subsumed in BRI’s project. In the meeting held in June 2019, between Xi and the Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf, it was voiced in the meeting that Beijing seeks to steadily promote practical cooperation in economy and trade. Moreover,China is willing to work with Afghanistan for deepening joint construction of belt and road and advance bilateral cooperation.[12] 


With Bhutan, China holds no diplomatic relationships. The only issue that both countries need to resolve is the issue of the border. In the meeting held in February 2019, a conclusion was reached to continue working together on the border issue.[13]

In Sri Lanka, China has the concern of just developing an island and having a mere influence in the region for the upcoming geostrategic aspirations. Though in the summit of May 2019, standing by the statement issued earlier in 2016, the idea of progressing the BRIprojects was discussed. China and Sri Lanka however are linked to each other as the Hambantota port on a 99-year lease; was handed over to China in exchange for paying for Colombo’s BRI debt.

The first visit paid by the Chinese head of state in 23 years, to Nepal was recently in October. 20 agreements were signed by Xi regarding BRI. It was uttered that both sides will accelerate the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through connectivity projects including ports, highways, railways, aviation, and communications, and have announced the launch of a feasibility study of the China-Nepal cross-border railway.

The meeting held between China and Bangladesh had its primary focus on developing Bangladesh economically via BRI funding.[14] The press release states that both states shared the view that the BRI offers a model of international cooperation for all the members and provides new opportunities for regional connectivity and economic integration.[15] The matter of strengthening Defense Corporation was looked into. One of the major conclusions drawn from this meeting was China will continue to look into the matter of Dhakka for counter-terrorism.

From the above mentioned details it can easily be concluded that China is up to uniting the south Asian countries not for mutual benefits but for its very own personal benefits. The aim is just not to have courteous relations with countries but also to gain full benefit from them.


The Russian Coalition is a continent-wide state, which distances from Eastern Europe to Northern Asia and rules over the Arctic. South-Asian region has developed a unique geostrategic status for Russia, through this region they could spread their impact to Asia and Africa. Soviet strategies and concerns were couturiers according to their desires, it was always practical about the geo-political probable of the region. Soviet policy towards South Asia has always documented the significance and geo-political weight and significance of India. At the same time, it never lost sight of the geopolitical significance of Pakistan.


[16]Russia’s foreign policy interests in South Asia have revolved mainly around the following important aspects

1) Energy routes passing through this region,

2) Security apprehensions related to terrorism, particularly in Afghanistan,

3) The China factor,

4) Countering US interests

5) Access to the Arabian Sea and the oil-rich Middle East.

Russia being a land-locked state had an ages-old quest for warm water ports which had been the major cause of its various armed conflicts. It was its historic chase and the “centuries-old quest for warm water” that forced the former USSR to invade Afghanistan. Today’s Russia needs it even badly for linking its world’s largest gas reserves to the international market.

 In pursuit of its long-term objectives in the region, Russian foreign policy both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union, has been India centric. The depth of Soviet-Indian strategic partnership can be judged from the Indo-Soviet Treaty of 1971 and Soviet support to India in Indo-Pak War-1971.The changing aspects of today’s geopolitical situation have, however, brought Pakistan and Russia closer to each other and for better bilateral ties.

[17]In 2010, Russia emphasized that a pivot to Asia is an extremely important aspect of its foreign policy. As the global pendulum of economy and geopolitics swings towards Asia, Russia has also realized the significance of vigilantly expressing policy towards Asia generally and particularly in the South Asian region. Russia realized that if they want to make their dream come true of Greater Eurasia, then they should fortify from the East not west. Moreover, the matter of formulating a well-formed policy towards South Asia is not a matter of choice anymore. There is an instant need for physical reforms in the economic system that should be framed around considerate policy because military spending in the Syrian intervention has impacted Russian resources.

Russia’s interest in South-Asia can also be enclosed for its present international standing and the declining importance of the US in global politics. One of the core features of Russian foreign policy is an aspiration to create a multi-polar world where unilateral supremacy of any state will not be tolerated. This vision combined with the historic Russian dream of being recognized as a great power or derzhavnost explains its renewed interest in the subcontinent.

There is no doubt that the immediacy of interests that Russia and China enjoy for the moment will last, but there may be possible areas of conflict such as China’s increasing interest in Central Asia and Russian weapon sales to India. The election of President Trump and his stance on fostering better relations with Russia may also change the dynamics of China-Russia relations and the region as well. To guard against geopolitical shocks, Russia would be wise to adopt a balanced, well-rounded regional approach. This would mean maintaining equilibrium in ties with China and the United States, as well as its relations with India and Pakistan. A balanced approach in South Asia while strengthening its economy at home would be the most favorable strategy for Russia.

For the past 20 years, Russia’s greatest concern in the region has been Islamic terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unpredictability emanating from Afghan-Pak will likely result in a stronger Russian military and security role in Central Asia to reduce the chances of penetration and subversion in Russia itself depending on Russia’s capacity to provide security forces and support. Gradually Russia is making efforts to strengthen its economic ties with the region after years of neglect. This is most notable in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the past three years. These moves are probably explained as part of its efforts to increase regional influence and leverage as the United States prepares to lighten its footprint and possibly as a response to growing concern about China’s rapidly growing economic influence in Central-Asia, the Greater Middle-East, and South-Asia. Particularly if the possibility of a North-South economic corridor is enhanced by greater regional stability, Russia will want to be the Northern partner of choice for Central-Asian states.

[18]“I cannot forecast the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest”.

– Winston Churchill, 1939.

Churchill’s phrase rings the simple truth of today, Russia’s incentives are dictated by its national interests.Russia’s relations with the states in South Asia further exemplify this phenomenon, with various alliances and oppositions converging and diverging across time.

The new exemplary shift of Russia’s tilting towards China and Pakistan, while negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which supposedly comes at the cost of its year-long partner India, should be seen through this angle.

Getting back to Churchill’s words, Russia’s modern South-Asian strategy should be seen less as a secret and more as resourceful rational willpower of filling the gap of the power vacuum left out by the US, in pursuit of its national interests.

Russia appears to view India as a natural strategic partner with joining views on many of the most critical regional and global issues of the day and as a rising power that will be integral to the multipolar global order–and whose rise Russia should seek to back. The connection has been termed by both sides as something akin to “an anchor of peace and stability” during “a profound transformation and a shift in the global balance of power” (Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra) or as “an example of responsible leadership and collective actions in the international arena” with the common goal of “[making] the world we live in more just, democratic, and secure and to facilitate resolving global and regional problems” (President Vladimir Putin).[19] Suffice to say that this kind of flowery rhetoric belies a relationship that is longer on rhetoric than reality.


Russia is effectively pursuing a strategy that aims at isolating the US in Afghanistan and erodes its influence in the region. Four developments have provided Russia with an opportunity to undercut US interests: [20]

  • the growing presence of ISIS in Afghanistan,
  • USA’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,
  • USA’s evolving relationship with India and Pakistan, and
  • Chinese investments in Central Asia under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The realistic approach of Russian decision-makers in the region and has led it to work together with historic competitors to isolate the US. By supporting the Taliban and collaborating with Iran and Pakistan, Russia can almost surround US forces stationed in Afghanistan. Russia has also recognized that China’s influence is increased by BRI investments in Central-Asia, cooperating with China delivers economic and strategic gains for both countries. Executed at a time when US influence around the world is declining, Russia’s actions have, for time being, undermined US interests in South and Central-Asia. Given the Trump administration’s ability to estrange US allies and its inability to make thoughtful foreign policy choices, it is unlikely that the Trump administration will succeed in opposing growing Russian influence in South and Central-Asia.

Russia’s altering strategy concerning South Asia needs to be measured in the setting of new changes taking place in the regional and intercontinental structure. With the US in comparative drop and China rising more self-assured, the rules of games have changed now. A resilient India-Russia teamwork is therefore commonly favorable.



[21]The British did not enter South Asia directly, it was a slow but sure process that took more than two hundred years to entirely take over India. The precursor of the East India Company was given a charter by Queen Elizabeth I in the year 1600, that charter was supposed to place the basis for Britain’s Colonial control over the region. Mughal’s Empire was in control of India before the British started interaction with the Indians. Mughals were in a state of decline due to some domestic issues. So for the British, it was an advantage because the lack of strong power meant there would be less united disagreement and the British would have a perfect opportunity to get the position of power in the region. This reason, as well as the internal strife amongst domains, provided opportunities for the British to rise as a central power in India.

[22]The British at that time met with challenges from other European states. Those European Powers had desired in earning the advantage of trade with the Indian Sub-continent. Struggling with extreme competition from European states, the British got to know that gaining political power in parts of India could mean the accomplishment of favorable trade agreements and the British could exclude foreign powers from the trade agreements. Portuguese were the first power to control trade in the Indian Ocean in the 16th century. After the Portuguese lost control, the British were faced with constant challenges from the French and Dutch. So to compete with other powers, the East India Company tried to gain the political impact to be able to decide, to whom the Indian traders would trade goods. The Company used to stop the textile weavers from trading their products with the French and the Dutch. Britain’s Industrial Revolution was built on the destruction of India’s thriving manufacturing industries.

[23]The Indian sub-continent was also well-known as the “Jewel of the British Crown”, due to the vast wealth India brought to Britain. The British were also in control of the flow of solid money into India. So Britain obtained important economic advantages. The foremost prepared conflicts began a few years later after the first trade agreement. A treaty, discussed by Prince Khurram and Sir Thomas Roe in the seaport of Surat granted the British the right to trade. As soon as the treaty was signed the traders of Surat recognized the British would be a threat to their trade in the Red Sea. The traders stopped trading goods with English. And in reply to this embargo, the British engaged “Gun Boat Diplomacy”. The English armed ships were far much better than the Indian vessels. The Indian dealers were not able to stop the English piracy and were met with the choice of either to meet the threat in the open sea or keep their vessels at the harbor. As mentioned above, the navy was another significant feature of British power in India. As India had no naval forces and Britain’s navy was much stronger so the British settled to offer security for Indian ships for annual payment.

[24]In 1857, a massive revolt took place after the takeover of Oudh by the East India Company. This revolt put an end to most of the territorial occupation and as well finished the role of East India Company in supremacy. The territories which were under the Company now came under the direct control of the British Parliament and Crown. In 1877, the title of Empress was given to Queen Victoria.  [25]By the completion of the 19th century, India was British’s main foundation of income, the globe’s largest buyer of British trades, and the basis of extremely salaried occupation for English civil servants and defense forces all at India’s expenditure. Indians funded for their oppression. Taxation stayed heavy. Farming dues amounted at the smallest to partial the gross products and frequently more, leaving behind the farmer with a smaller amount of food than he was required to upkeep himself and his family.

[26] Indian sub-continent turned out to be significant to the British imposing mission. Moreover Indian was only significant to safeguard the economic success of the English Empire. To protect those imposing welfare, first the East India Company and then the Crown itself wanted to spread their realm from India to present-day Sri Lanka, they were successful in annexing some territories from Nepal into Britain India, but the British suffered a major setback when they tried to take control over Afghanistan. That’s why these territories are known as South Asia today due to the attempt of the British to extend or defend their empire.


[27]Decolonization of the Indian subcontinent became an extremely complicated procedure because of the division and the formation of two distinct states – India and Pakistan. Religion was the basic cause of this partition as on the western and eastern parts of India Muslims were in majority – which became Pakistan (East Pakistan and West Pakistan.) the rising rivalry between Muslims and Hindus and the unwillingness of Indian National Congress (INC) to provide accommodations to the Muslims difficulties, formed a sense of religious acknowledgment and this rivalry gained motion in the late-1930s and early-1940s, which eventually led to the partition of Indian Subcontinent. Sri Lanka (Ceylon) remained under the power of the British after the British took the place of the Dutch and remained in control of Ceylon till 1948. The process of Sri Lankan decolonization was customarily different from the decolonization of India. There was no widespread uprising against the colonial power, they had a better standard of living, and people enjoyed the right to vote since 1931. Sri Lanka converted independently without any protest or conflict against the colonial power. But later there was a strong national clash amid the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

[28]The major reason for the distrust amongst states, power of the military, and massive venture in defense, instability, and the influential establishment is the colonization of South Asia. The organizational system in most South Asian states is the inheritance of colonization. Bureaucracy was the outcome of promoting colonial teaching. The characteristics that can be labeled to the bureaucracy are inflexibility, superiority, confidentiality. And these attributes were mostly a part of post-colonial South Asian states.

The above-discussed study delivered an overview of the process of colonization and decolonization in the South Asian region. British power had many influences on South Asian legislation, economy, and civilization. Furthermore, colonial authorities affected South Asian culture, values, and learning as well. It is prominent that South Asia states had moved from old-style realms into the contemporary countries as of the colonial influences. Even currently, the impacts of the British powers still exist in South Asia.


Consequently, South Asia has the potential to be a stable, democratic, and prosperous region. If anything, U.S. interests in each of these states will grow as U.S.-China relations become more important. Advancing regional economic integration will require stable governments with domestic policies that can respond to continuing rapid urbanization, the infrastructure deficit, and ever-rising demand for energy and water. U.S. commercial interests are also important. Advancing U.S. commercial goals in South Asia should continue to be a high priority for U.S. policymakers, particularly in sectors that have seen the limited foreign direct investment to date.

As for China, it can easily be concluded that China is up to uniting the South Asian states, not for the mutual benefits of the South Asian countries but it’s very own personal benefits. The aim is just not to have courteous relations with the neighboring countries but also to gain full benefit from them. China is frustrated with India over the matters of LAC and also by New Delhi rejecting the BRI’s project, CPEC. On the other hand, the fear of India being united with the USA and the other like-minded states like Australia lies there too.In the case of Pakistan though, the two countries have each other’s back. China enjoys the advantage of insulation from terrorism and also to have a strong foothold in future Afghanistan and not to forget, the BRI projects that incorporate the mutual benefits of the two. 

In Russia’s matter, its positive multilateral relations with the states of South Asia, the appearance of its soft diplomacy in the region, have opened the gates to its considerable regional impact, letting Moscow involve with vibrant new markets and act determinedly with the continuing conflicts, while preserving the role of an appeasing force.

[29]And lastly, for the British in South Asia, the main example of regional collapse could be the Indian subcontinent because of its size and significance under the British colonial Empire. The handing over of power in the subcontinent as a result of constant struggle for independence. Gandhi and many INC leaders had hoped for a unified India, but the partition was predictable because of the basic variances on creating independent states. From the independence of India till 2000, a visible regionalization process had enhanced. Indian independence, therefore, set up a spinning point in the development of regional harbor hierarchy.

In the end, South Asia comprising, seven states, shares a history. Therefore with common and global generosity, with the acceptance of appeasing, with the congregating of the essential political determination, and through market-friendly programs, the South Asian general public and the rules may perhaps as nevertheless take their fortune back into their influences and may as well revive the enormity and the magnificence that one time was theirs.


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  • Tharoor Shashi, An Era of Darkness; The British Empire in India, New Delhi, Aleph Book Company, 2016
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  • Waterson Colin, The Keys to British Success in South Asia

[1] Alexander Evans, The United States and South Asia after Afghanistan (New York: The Asian Society, 2012), 27.

[2] Population Reference Bureau, Mid-2012 population of SAARC countries as a percentage of world population of 7 billion, accessed November 20, 2012: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2012/world-population-data-sheet/fact-sheet-world-population.aspx.

[3] Nicholas Burns, “America’s Strategic Opportunity with India: The New US-India Partnership,” Foreign Affairs (2007): 131-46

[4] K. Alan Kronstadt, Pakistan-U.S. Relations (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, May 24, 2012), http://www.fas.org/sgp/ crs/row/R41832.pdf.

[5] Stephen Cohen, the Idea of Pakistan (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press, 2004).

[6] Aaron L. Friedberg, “The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable?” International Security 30, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 7–45

[7] Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEP) Policy Database, Bhutan (2012), http://www.reegle.info/policy-and-regulatory-overviews/BT#sources.

[8] Xi Jinping said, “Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” during 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xinhua, and 18th October, 2017.

[9]“China-India Border Tension Flares Up in Galwan Valley, Won’t Lead to another ‘Doklam Standoff’, Experts,” Global Times, May 18, 2020.

[10]China, Afghanistan, Pakistan Reach Broad Consensus on Regional Issues, Cooperation,” Xinhua, September 8, 2019, : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/08/c_138374569.htm

[11] “China, Afghanistan Pledge to Jointly Promote Belt and Road Initiative,” Xinhua, April 28, 2020, : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-04/28/c_139014660.htm

[12] China, Afghanistan, Pakistan Reach Broad Consensus on Regional Issues, Cooperation,” Xinhua, September 8, 2019, : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/08/c_138374569.html

[13] “Bhutan Willing to Strengthen Pragmatic Cooperation with China: PM,” Xinhua, February 1, 2019, : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/01/c_137793012.htm

[14] China, Bangladesh Agree to Belt & Road Cooperation,” Xinhua, July 4, 2019, : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-07/04/c_138199238.htm

[15] “Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, “on 7th July at Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs : https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1679204.shtml

[16] Fatima Raza, Russia in South Asia: Balancing United States and China, 2017

[17] Ibid.

[18] EFSAS, Russia’s strategic hedging in South Asia

[19] ITAR-TASS, “Putin sets task to double trade with India by 2015,” Russia & India Report, December 24, 2012,

[20] Uzair Younus, “ The Diplomat: Russia is isolating and undermining the United States in the region, 2018

[21] Colin Waterson, The Keys to British Success in South Asia,

[22] Ibid

[23] Colin Waterson, The Keys to British Success in South Asia,

[24] Sanjay Joshi, Colonial notion of South Asia,( Northern Arizona University, USA, 2010)

[25] Shashi Tharoor, An Era of Darkness; The British Empire in India, (New Delhi, Aleph Book Company, 2016),

[26]Sanjay Joshi, Colonial notion of South Asia,( Northern Arizona University, USA, 2010)

[27] Sengupta, Anwesha, Decolonization in South Asia, (Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, 2019), 02.

[28] Ajay Pratap, Singh Vivek Sugandh, Colonial Legacy: An Impediment to Regional Integration in South Asia, (Vivdekananda International Foundation, 2019)

[29] Ducruet Cesar, Tsubota Kenmei, Regional disintegration in South Asia :evidence from the end of the British Empire on maritime networks, (IDE Discussion Paper, Institute of Developing

Economies, Japan External Trade Organization, 2018) 04.

                          Asma Ashraf Chohan
                          Erum Rashid        
                          Maham Feroz Khan
                          Meshal Tariq



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