Express View on President’s Xi’s Moscow visit: China-Russia tango is a challenge for India

Source: The post is based on the articles “Xi Jinping’s Russia visit: Russian ballet with Chinese characteristics diminishes India’s strategic space” and “Express View on President’s Xi’s Moscow visit: China-Russia tango is a challenge for India” published in the Indian Express on 24th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS – 2: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Relevance: About Russia-China joint statement.

News: Recently, the Chinese President visited Russia and supported the Russian President in his upcoming election. Russia called the Chinese peace proposals between Russia and Ukraine as “constructive”.

Note: China lists “12 principles” for peace. This includes respect for “sovereignty of all countries”, “abandoning Cold War mentality”, resuming peace talks and stopping unilateral sanction,

What are the key highlights of the Russia-China joint statement?

The joint statement a) Neglected western sanctions and emphasised on strengthening trade and economic cooperation, especially energy cooperation, b) reaffirmed their commitment to the 2021 Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation, c) Decided to move ahead on China-Mongolia-Russia natural gas pipeline project and d) highlighted the areas of cooperation include civil aviation manufacturing, the automobile industry, etc, and e) condemned the Quad grouping, which India is a part.

Note: Russia is now China’s biggest supplier of oil. Ever since the sanctions, Russia’s access to critical technology is entirely dependent on China.

Read more: In light of China-Russia alliance and Ukraine conflict, India and the new Eurasia

What are the global strategic implications of the Russia-China joint statement?

Implications for western countries: a) China will not let Russia fail in Ukraine. This may well affect the future trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine, b) US and Europe will need all the support to counter the Russia-China partnership.

Implications for India: a) Diminishes the “strategic autonomy” available with Russia, b) complicates the security environment with Russia, c) Reduces the reliability of Russia as Russia’s dependence on China is increasing rapidly, d) Might force India to align more towards the West, and e) The success of India’s presidency of the G20 will be measured on the outcome document, which needs the co-operation of both Russia and China. Thus, the recent developments of Russia-China might hamper the outcome document.

Must read: A new Sino-Russian alliance: What are its implications for India?
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