This is a briefing arising from a roundtable co-hosted by BASIC and The Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), King’s College London, on 25th June 2018. This discussion included international and civil society, think tanks and government representatives. The two sovereign nations have clear explicable reasons for their development of power projection capabilities, whilst also being trapped by their histories, narratives and positions, a deep distrust, and an attachment to strength in the face of opposition. But states do not face a binary choice between strength and weakness, nor between collaboration and confrontation. Rather, they can try to understand the interests and positions of other parties, and also attempt to reflect back their understanding of those positions and to absorb those interests into their own proposals. The empathic approach is essential to the success of international negotiations, and to avoiding further deterioration in the strategic security of all parties in the region.