IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 20th Aug 2020
“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.” –Washington Irving
EDITORIAL HUNT #117 :“Sino Russian Relationship and India“
(Sino Russian Relationship and India)
Vijay Gokhale is a former Foreign Secretary of India and a former Ambassador to Germany and to China
China-Russia ties as a major determinant
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
A proper appraisal of the Sino-Russian relationship will be critical to India’s foreign policy calculus. Discuss -(GS 2)
- Russia-China Relationship
- USA hegemony
- India’s Role in Asia
- 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.
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.
- STRATEGIC TRIANGLE : western actions to punish Russia have served to strengthen China’s position in the strategic triangle.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- KEY TRADE ELEMENTS : Russia remains wary about allowing any dominating role for China in oil and gas.
- 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.
INDIA AND RUSSIA TIES
- Commercially motivated Russia that no longer shares our concerns about China.
- 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