The Indo-China Balance of Power in South Asian Region: A Sri Lankan Perspective


  • H. E. N. Priyadarshani Department of Political Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka


China and India are two states with which Sri Lanka has maintained close relations in the past. These two states have given a lot of support to Sri Lanka in many crisis situations that Sri Lanka has faced in international politics. China is one of the main countries that have helped Sri Lanka from the past until recently. Also, in view of the severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka after Covid-19, India has also given special support to Sri Lanka. Thus, it can be stated that China and India are keen to provide support to Sri Lanka in a very competitive manner. As a result of all these factors, India and China, the two most powerful nations in Asia, are in a furious power struggle over Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. That is, the South Asian region is facing a problem of balance of power. The primary goal of this research is to examine Sri Lanka's role in the rivalry in South Asia between China and India. The research objective is ‘what policy Sri Lanka should adhere to when managing its relations with India and China?’. This study's methodology, which is qualitative in nature, depends only on secondary data to gather information. Content analysis was used for data analysis. According to this study, for Sri Lanka, India and China are equally important and China has provided a lot of assistance to Sri Lanka financially. However, in view of the current economic crisis Sri Lanka is facing, China's response to Sri Lanka has become sluggish. Nevertheless, Indian engagement has recently become increasingly crucial for Sri Lanka due to the terrible economic crisis the country is experiencing in the wake of Covid-19. Sri Lanka should, however, maintain a neutral stance in its interactions with the two adversarial nations, India and China.