Russia-China Nexus and India – UPSC GS2

Utility: Can be used in India-Russia, India-China, Quad, Indo-Pacific related questions.
How Russia is undermining India’s efforts against China?
  • Russia opposes Quad:
    • Russia’s views regarding the Quad reinforces China’s claim that the Quad is aimed at containing China.
    • Russia advised India to take a “larger look at Chinese foreign policies”.
    • Russia had termed the Quad as “Asian NATO”.
  • Russia opposes Indo-Pacific concept:
    • Russia has rejected the Indo-Pacific concept in favour of the Asia-Pacific.
    • Russia believes that Indo-Pacific is designed to contain both China and Russia, and it is reviving the Cold War mentality.
  • Hangover of US-Russia rivalry:
    • Russia’s policymakers are obsessive with Russia’s rivalry with the U.S.
    • This attitude of Russia is making it more pro-China, which is resulting in more aggressive blocking of India’s policy agendas.
    • For example, increasing proximity between Russia and Pakistan.
Why India Started looking west during geo-political changes in the past?
  • Failure of the Strategic triangle proposed by Russia.
    • Russia proposed the ‘Russia-China-India’ triangle to bring together the three major power.
    • But due to China’s dismissive attitude and emerging China-Pakistan nexus, India started investing its diplomatic energies in rapprochement with the United States.
  • Russia’s decline as super power:
    • After the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), India realized Russia is incapable of balancing threats from China.
    • For example. India’s cooperation with the U.S. has strengthened due to rising terrorism and China’s growing assertiveness.
    • India has also deepened its ties with Japan and Australia for a soft balancing.
    • Thus, India adopted external balancing strategies.
  • Economic Liberalisation:
    • India focussed on building an alternative international economic order.
    • Economic liberalization also allowed India to buy defense weapons from a wider global market, such as Israel and France. It boosted India’s bargaining capacity with Russia.
  • China’s Assertiveness:
    • China’s assertiveness forced India to look for other strategic partnerships.
    • The shared identities and beliefs in the principle of non-alignment, memories of colonial subjugation, and strong beliefs in sovereignty and strategic autonomy have not stopped China from asserting its hegemony over Asia.
  • Failure of Multilateral Forums:
    • Multilateral forums such as the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have little practical value without China’s reciprocity.

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