This research note uses the recently declassified US. documents of President Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger’s conversations with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Chairman Mao Zedong to reconstruct an episode during the Cold War. The goal is to explain not just what Mao and Zhou thought of India and South Asia in the early 1970s but also how their understanding and expressions were conditioned by the geostrategic environment at the time. A critical content analysis of these transcripts reveals much that is useful for policymakers today in Washington, Be/ing, and New Delhi as they fashion their policy responses to the security challenges of the early twenty-first century. In his first meeting with Kissinger in July 1971, Zhou described the South Asian subcontinent as a prime area of “turmoil under heaven “-this remains the case thirty years later with the ongoing War on Terrorism and the India- Pakistan nuclear standoff A look at the historical origins of the great power triangular diplomacy in the early 1970s-the Washington-Being quasi-alliance to counter the Soviet threat-is timely and useful in a period when the United States is seen as engaged in triangular diplomacy of a different kind in the early twenty-first century-the Washington-New Delhi quasi-alliance to counter the perceived China threat. This research note focuses primarily on Chinese views and perceptions of India and South Asia, seeking to derive the roots of current Chinese policy toward India and to provide policy-relevant analysis as to how past events and perceptions may affect present and future developments in Sino-Indian relations in three areas: mutual suspicion and distrust, the unresolved border conflict, and the Sino-U.S. -Indian triangular relationship.