How Putin’s Russia could help China and India get along
Russia’s role in mediating between China and India should not be overlooked, a leading Chinese scholar on regional geopolitics has said, weeks after the Russian and Indian leaders greeted each other with a bear hug.
Hu Shisheng, a top expert on China-India relations, also predicted “a more stable border” between the two Asian powers this year, although stand-offs along their disputed border, now one of the biggest flashpoints in the region, were likely to continue.
The assessment from Hu, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), was part of an analysis published on the CICIR website on January 5.
Moscow’s relations with both big neighbours have been in focus in recent weeks, after President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were pictured greeting each other warmly on December 6.
Putin had travelled to New Delhi for the 21st annual India-Russia summit, in what was only his second overseas trip since the Covid-19 pandemic began two years ago. During their meeting, both leaders reaffirmed what Putin called “time-tested” ties.
Nine days later, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a video call – their seventh since the pandemic started – where the Russian president proposed a trilateral summit with India, according to an aide.
Xi and Putin “agreed to continue exchanging opinions in this regard and endeavour to hold the next summit within the RIC [Russia-India-China] framework in the near future,” Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told Tass news agency at the time.
Both India and China see Russia as an important strategic partner. And Moscow, now facing increasing hostility from the West, “would not want to see India and China fighting with each other”, Hu wrote in the article. For Beijing, a stable relationship with New Delhi could help offset pressures from the Quad, a four-way informal security grouping of US, India, Australia and Japan that is seen as an important part of the US-led Indo Pacific strategy to counter China.
“The Modi government would not oppose [an RIC summit] … as falling foul of China has created disadvantages to improving India’s prospects of rising as a great power,” Hu wrote.
China, India and Russia are members of several multilateral platforms, including the G20 group of nations, the five-nation BRICS group of emerging economies with Brazil and South Africa, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a Eurasian political and security alliance including four central Asian countries and Pakistan.
A new platform for a Russia-India-China summit, if achieved, could also “enable more active strategic interactions among the three countries, which would also increase the stability factor in general Sino-Indian relations”, according to Hu. Relations between China and India dropped to the lowest point in 2020, after border troops engaged in their deadliest clash in 45 years in June that year.
The violence in Galwan Valley, in the disputed western Himalayan border near Tibet, sparked a stand-off that has led to at least 13 rounds of military talks so far between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
The two militaries have completed disengagement at some friction points, but troops remain posted and tensions still flare up from time to time.
On Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry dismissed India’s claims that China was building a bridge across the hotly contested Pangong lake.
“China’s infrastructure build-up on its own territory is entirely within its sovereignty and is aimed at safeguarding territorial sovereignty and security while working to maintain peace and stability in the India-China border region,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing.
The day before, the Indian foreign ministry slammed China’s decision to rename various locations along their disputed border in the eastern Himalayas. To India, the area is its northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, but Beijing claims major parts of it as part of its South Tibet region. Calling the renaming a “ridiculous exercise”, Indian ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi urged China not to complicate bilateral ties “further”. However, while bilateral relations were likely to remain fraught, major confrontation was unlikely, Hu forecast.
No major clashes had broken out at the border in 2021, Hu noted, while two minor conflicts – in August and in October, “were handled effectively at the first moments and this has demonstrated that the two countries have paid great attention to the peace and stability in the border regions.”
Striking an optimistic note, Hu said India and China can work on cooperation, including on pandemic control, counterterrorism measures, regional stability and climate change, which would help ease bilateral ties.
“After two years of mutual adjustment, both sides seem to have found a new way of getting along.”
Anti-colonial mentality does not make sense in the Subcontinent's context. All the countries within the Subcontinent are modern creations. Before the Europeans, the Mughals, the Turkics, etc., they were all as Indian as we are. Sure, there were different kingdoms, but someone, say, from Chola Empire doing business in Mathura or Varanasi, would not feel as though they were in another country. The culture, spirituality, faith, customs, and some linguistic linkages (sanskrit & tamil were equally welcomed back then) would make them feel as much at home as their native kingdom. Meanwhile, the aforementioned groups were all completely alien, had an alien faith system, looks, mindset, and ideology so that made them colonial occupiers of the Subcontinent or Greater India as we call it.while writing the post on "United states of europe" in ukraine thread and it's potential implication of revivial of colonialism in europe, it gave me a opportunity to reflect on how Government of India conducts itself with it's immediate neighbours(other than pakistan)
we have been wondering why GoI doesn't forcefully conduct it's foreign policy with our neighbours, this point comes up often here at DFI. possible explanation is that both GoI or MEA as an institution are so inherently anti-colonial that they refuse to behave like colonial powers when dealing with our neighbours, they would rather take the pains of prolonged negotiations by treating the neighbours as equals rather than forcefully impose India's point of view when dealing with situations. I donno whether this anti-coloniality exists as a written policy somewhere in some G.O. or is a result of their education in their IFS curriculum.
for comparison, U.S too is fundamentally anti-colonial in it's outlook, they too had issues with their neighbour Mexico in early years. but over a period of time they have figured out a way to get Mexico under their complete control using financial incentives while dealing with issues like narco-terrorism without making it look like a colonial diktat.
just something to ponder upon.
Imagine a german senior ranking official to say these things in public in a foreign country which is not a military ally, must be huge resentment within german military against china.
German Navy Chief VAdm Kay-Achim Schönbach minicing no words while pointing out concerns with China at @IDSAIndia event in Delhi. Highlights how "... China is not that nice country we probably thought"
Woah, this is a LOT of China focus coming out in media that too from a German General. Any specific reason in mind? Or is this West's virtue signalling to Putin that Russia could show restraint while West subdues China into a future where the other 'pole' of a two-polar world is shared by Russia and China both, or act aggressively and become a stated junior partner to China in the larger conflict?
we can only take notice, it's the german govt's political decision that matters not an individual's professional opinion. german military is toothless, we already know this.Woah, this is a LOT of China focus coming out in media that too from a German General. Any specific reason in mind? Or is this West's virtue signalling to Putin that Russia could show restraint while West subdues China into a future where the other 'pole' of a two-polar world is shared by Russia and China both, or act aggressively and become a stated junior partner to China in the larger conflict?
I get that but isn't this way too direct?IDSA is a think tank, this was an online event, it was a Q&A session.
Sounds extremely fishy to me.Putin wants respects... Giving some respect is low cost or no cost. Russia deserves respect. We, India, Germany need Russia against China: German Navy Chief in Delhi
Can't take a murican point of view in this case tanvi madan seriously, when one lives in US long enough there is an element of "distorted reality" that creeps in because of the type of information they are surrounded with, they view things the way they want to see it, it's systemic and it has been going on for decades.FAAAACK! Like I suspected, the German Navy Chief thought this was in private!
And as expected, a backtrack.China is not that nice country we probably thought-German Navy Chief Vice Admiral.
China is giving money to dictators, killers, to criminals as long as long as they give resources to China
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