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The Big Three   
The Big Three

The emerging relationship between the United States, India and China in the changing world order

Harsh Bhasin
Hard-bound Book (6¼" x 9¼") :   Pages : 166
2009  Edition   :  ISBN - 978-81-7188-727-9
Price : INR 595 / US $ 35.95
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The evolving relationship between India, the US and China is generally regarded by scholars of international relations as among the key features, perhaps even the most crucial one, that will shape the geopolitical contours of the emerging international political landscape in the twenty-first century.

Written by a scholar and academician who for long years served as a career diplomat and hence a practitioner of international relations, the book meticulously analyses each strand of the mutual bilateral relations of the three countries, including their troubled past and uncertain present, to unravel clues for the possible future course of their relationship

Ultimately, this book is aimed at an informing its readers – scholars and laypersons alike - about the forces at work in the evolving saga of the triangular relationship between the world’s most powerful nation, the world’s largest nation and the world’s largest democracy.

Reviews / opinions:


"There is no doubt any more that the US-China-India triangle will be among the most keenly watched relationships of the emerging international order. Ambassador Harsh Bhasin, now a professor, marshals his enormous diplomatic experience and turns his thoughtful intellectual gaze to this triangle. The results are enlightening. A riveting read!" Ashutosh Varshney Professor of Political Science, Brown University; Former Director, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

"Ambassador Harsh Bhasin has drawn deep on his life long experience, study and practice of diplomacy to write this book... It is a very well structured, deeply researched, soberly reasoned and objectively analysed work about the two Asian giants India and the People's Republic of China. The entire gamut of the many challenges and opportunities that such a complex and competitive neighbourhood poses is assessed with great clarity and skill. A very readable and masterly analysis of these two giant Asian powers at the beginning of the 21st century." Jaswant Singh Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha (Council of States), Parliament of India.

"One would think that, with the world drowning in books on China and India, and what their rise signifies for the West, there is nothing left to learn. But Harsh Bhasin, one of India's most distinguished diplomats, proves otherwise. He has written a marvellous analysis of the problems and possibilities in key world issues arising from the present and prospective interplay of India, China and the United States. It is a tour de force." Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University, New York, USA.

"The triangular relationship of China, India, and USA today is both a puzzle, and for each of them a challenge. Political activists, sociologists, economists, and theorists of balance of power have been busy making their astrological calculations on this subject. Ambassador Harsh Bhasin has brought to bear, on this issue, both his diplomatic experience, intellectual acuity and academic depth. The result is a readable and serious work of balance and sagacity." Shailendra Kumar Singh Governor of Rajasthan and former Foreign Secretary of India.

"Ambassador Bhasin has a profound understanding of the political and economic cultures of the US, India, and China. I highly recommend this book to all those who seek a deeper understanding of twenty-first century geopolitics and diplomacy." Shirley Strum Kenny President, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, USA.




Harsh Bhasin, a veteran diplomat with a career spanning over three-and-a-half decades in the Indian Foreign Service, served as Ambassador to Denmark, High Commissioner to South Africa and Botswana, and as Consul General in New York and Johannesburg. A major portion of his work as a career diplomat was in China - during the Cultural Revolution and later – and in the course of three different assignments in the US in the 1970s through the 1990s. This book owes its origins to the long years he has spent living and working intimately in both China and the US.

After retirement from India’s diplomatic service he has served on the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, first as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science and later in the Department of Asian and Asian-American Studies. He currently holds the position of Chair in the Department.



Author’s Note



1. The US-India Relationship

2. The India-China Relationship

3. The US-China Relationship

4. Outlook for the Future

5. Indo-US-China Relations under the Obama Administration: The Likely Scenario




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