Interactive Management of the Sino-Indian Border Disputes: A Game Theory Analysis

Bo Wang, Pelagia Karpathiotaki, Xinmin Sui


The complex Sino-Indian relationship is the result of the historical evolutions and shared borders between the two countries. Their underlying tensions are being exacerbated by today’s expectations of playing an increasingly important role in the global governance and a trend of mistrust of their respective geopolitical intentions. There exists a big gap of perception of Sino-Indian boundary and a massive deficit of mutual trust between the two states in addition to political differences and populism confronting both Chinese and Indian policy-makers. Sino-Indian relations are characterized by a security dilemma as a result of a mutual lack of trust. Both parties are trying to determine the true intentions of the other party. Although since the 1990s the management and control measures and the political vision of the policymakers have made their border disputes controllable without affecting the development of bilateral relations and cooperation in other fields, the boundary problem continues to reside in the nondeterministic elements between the two countries’ relationship, which in turn generates abnormality and even “crisis”, along with electoral changes in the Indian domestic political landscape from time to time. The “spillover effect” of the Sino-Indian border game is remarkable and has mitigated the border tensions or crises in the region. Therefore, the armed cold peace with controllable and low extent local crisis is expected to be the common “status-quo” for the Sino-Indian border regions. It is safe to assume that the spillover effect of the Sino-Indian border disputes leads to competitive cooperation under a dynamic, non-cooperative, incomplete information game. This central feature of the bilateral relations could not exclude the possibility of a conflict in the future as happened in 1962.


Border Disputes; Equilibrium; Security Dilemma; Sino-Indian Relations; Strategy Interaction

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Bo Wang, Pelagia Karpathiotaki, Xinmin Sui

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
© EScience Press. All Rights Reserved.