"In a quiet stretch of water off Vietnam’s coast, India and China are jockeying for position in a maritime game that serves as a microcosm of wider regional anxieties about China’s claims to sovereignty over large parts of the South China Sea. By calling for international bids on an offshore oil and gas exploration lease in a block where India and Vietnam are already undertaking exploration, China has thrown down the gauntlet by deciding to stay put in the assigned block, India has indicated it’s ready to take up the Chinese challenge. At stake is India’s claim to be a regional power."
The conflict between India and China over the South China Sea has been building for almost two years. Harsh Pant, Reader in International Relations at King's College, London, and former Emerging Leader Fellow of the Australia India Institute delves into India's relationship with China in his paper China Rises, India Ponders. India's 'Look East' Policy Gathers Momentum as part of A.I.I's series of Fearless Nadia Occasional Papers.