IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 20th Aug 2020

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.” –Washington Irving

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT #117 :“Sino Russian Relationship and India

Sino Russian Relationship and India

Vijay Gokhale
(Sino Russian Relationship and India)
Vijay Gokhale is a former Foreign Secretary of India and a former Ambassador to Germany and to China

      HEADLINES:

China-Russia ties as a major determinant

      CENTRAL THEME:

A proper analysis of the partnership between Beijing and Moscow is critical to India’s foreign policy calculus

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR : Sino Russian Relationship and India

      MAINS QUESTION:

A proper appraisal of the Sino-Russian relationship will be critical to India’s foreign policy calculus. Discuss -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Russia-China Relationship
  • USA hegemony
  • India’s Role in Asia

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • In June 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping described Russian President Vladimir Putin, as “my best friend and colleague”.
  • At no time since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 has such public bonhomie been seen between leaders of Russia and China.
  • It has sparked intense discussion on a formal alliance, and what that could mean for the rest of the world.

      BODY: 

THE KEY TRIANGLE

  • TRIANGULAR POLITY : The triangular relationship between America, China and Russia has, for the most part, shaped global politics since 1950.
  • CONSEQUENCE ASSOCIATION : India is not a part of this triangle; yet they represent our three most consequential relationships.
  • DISINTEGRATION OF USSR : The disintegration of the Soviet Union essentially negated the Russian threat in Chinese eyes.

COLUMNS OF THE PARTNERSHIP

  • THE THREE PILLARS : Sino-Russian partnership currently rests on a peaceful boundary, expanding trade and a shared distrust of American intentions.
  • RISING SANCTIONS : Western sanctions have tended to push the Russians closer to China.
  • OIL TRADE : Falling oil prices and fears of new sanctions on Russian gas supplies (Nord Stream 2) are demolishing the core of Russian exports to Europe.

Ironically, even though it is in neither Russia’s nor the European Union’s interest to hasten a bi-polar world.

  • STRATEGIC TRIANGLE : western actions to punish Russia have served to strengthen China’s position in the strategic triangle.

China-Russia trade has more than doubled to $108 billion.

  • FINANCIAL TURN : Russia’s central bank has increased its Chinese currency reserves from less than one per cent to over 13%.
  • ECONOMIC ASSERTIVENESS : These economic positives appear to enhance what is seen in Washington and European capitals, as a growing strategic convergence.
  • COORDINATED ACTION : Sophisticated joint military exercises, and activities with third countries such as Iran, reinforce western beliefs about it morphing into an alliance.
  • THE POWER-GAP : It is threatening to further reduce Russian influence in their ‘near-abroad’ and to confine Russia to the periphery of global power.

Russia still regards itself as a world power and hopes to be at the centre of  Eurasian arrangement .

  • US HEGEMONY : Russia considers U.S.-led hegemony as the primary threat to this vision, and this leads them on to make common cause with China.

CHINA’S RISE, RUSSIA’S UNEASE

  • The three pillars on which the relationship stands are not as sturdy as they may seem.

Mr. Xi’s talk of “rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation” has raised fears about Chinese revanchism.

  • DISCOMFORTS ARISE : China’s rise has produced discomfort among some Russians.
  • HISTORICAL CRUNCH : Chinese continue to nurse historical grievances 600,000 square miles of Chinese territory that Tsarist Russia allegedly annexed in the late 19th century.
  • RUSSIAN CONCERNS : Chinese migration in the Russian Far East, is bringing a possibility of China becoming a threat Russia’s territorial integrity.

ADVANTAGE CHINA IN TRADE

  • ECONOMIC PILLAR : While Russia presently enjoys a nominal trade surplus, going beyond gross trade to value-added trade, China has a clear advantage going forward.
  • EXPORT SURPLUS : Most of its exports to Russia are now at a higher technology level while the share of labour-intensive goods has declined.

Russian exports have continued to focus on raw materials, especially oil and gas.

  • KEY TRADE ELEMENTS : Russia remains wary about allowing any dominating role for China in oil and gas.

ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE

  • Russia presumably thinks to control China through its energy dependency, a situation that the Chinese will not accept.
  • China feels that it can integrate Russia into its economy by re-directing Russian oil and gas eastwards .
  • While Russia needs financing, it is unlikely to give up its economic independence or sovereignty.

The supply of the S-400 missile system to China is touted as an example of the budding strategic alliance.

      IASbhai Windup: 

INDIA AND RUSSIA TIES

  • Commercially motivated Russia that no longer shares our concerns about China.

Politically reliable, trustworthy defence supplier Russia , with shared misgivings about the Dragon should be sorted out with diplomatic maturity

  • A strategic partnership with Russia based on the absence of fundamental conflicts of interest and a shared belief that some form of multipolarity is better than any sort of Sino-U.S. doldrums.

“The garden of friendship like all gardens must be consistently tended”.-INDIRA GANDHI

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL | Sino Russian Relationship and India

 

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