India, China, USA confuse Ukraine
India, China, USA confuse Ukraine

India, China, USA confuse Ukraine

India and China have not agreed with the views taken by the West on the Russian war in Ukraine. They failed to condemn the Russian aggression in the UN Security Council and General Assembly and have not approved sanctions. But beyond that, their positions are different. Meanwhile, the war is still going on.

The first difference in position arises from the divergent relations that India and China have with the United States. The United States sees China as its primary strategic competitor and is determined to maintain its leading position in all areas by bypassing China’s progress. To refine China, it has developed a number of policies under the theme of Strategic Competition with China.

The Russian aggression in Ukraine is an open opportunity for the United States, giving it an ideal proxy war – an opportunity to crush Russia, which it sees as China’s main alliance partner, keep the EU under its guidance, build alliances in the Indo-Pacific, which Among other things, Asian powers and Australia, and increase its arms and oil industry and exports by sanctioning Russia.

China is very aware of the long-term military containment and competition policies of the United States, as well as its deglobalization, which is mainly directed at China. China has stood strong in understanding the causes of Russian aggression as related to Russian ‘legitimate security interests’, a phrase used by many in the global south.

China has tried to circumvent sanctions, but Chinese companies are careful not to impose secondary sanctions on themselves. But apart from diplomatic statements, China remains at a distance, and Russia has not tried to engage any third country in this war either.

India, on the other hand, has built harmonious relations with the United States over the last few decades, and yet persevered when it came to relations with Russia and other American goals. India has utilized its markets, arms purchasing capacity, resources and relations to balance and withstand the intense pressure from the United States and the West without giving up its interests with Russia.

Second, U.S. and Western multinationals are moving to secure trade. The Western trade policy called ‘re-shoring’, which then became ‘near-shoring’, basically means that trade is a priority between allies alone.

In fact, in a brutal politicization of trade policy, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called it ‘friend-shoring’. This friend-shoring is in line with Biden’s alliance of ‘democracies’ that oppose or isolate the ‘authoritarian’. This is the new carrot the United States is offering the ASEAN states, India and the rest to oppose Russia, China, Iran and other select enemies. In this, India is looking for increased trade and development opportunities instead of China, while maintaining the partnership with Russia. In the long run, however, ‘friend-shoring’ is the plan for selective deglobalization.

The third major issue for relations between Russia, India, China and the United States is security issues. The United States is aware that its strategic goals are both Russia and China, and then Iran, Cuba and so on. China under Xi Jinping, on the other hand, continues to focus on prosperity rather than security in order to sustain its progress, unlike Russia under Putin, which prioritizes strategic parity over economic development. Xi’s latest call for inclusive and indivisible security calls for a home with the West for security in exchange for trade. The US will not accept this in the long run, although Europe would like to continue its trade and value chain lines with China.

The flaw in Xi’s proposed Global Security Initiative with inclusive and indivisible security is that there is no question of respecting or maintaining existing state and maritime borders. Without accepting these, China’s proposal for common security will not appeal to either the already skeptical West or its Asian neighbors. And this is the weakest point for India and its relations with China and Russia. A further problem for China is that even Russia and the Central Asian republics have fears of China’s territorial expansion interests.

The United States is betting that a weakened Russia will become a strategic burden for China, which will also free India from Russian support. Deepening tensions between China and India will also help the United States put further pressure on India to reorient their partnership. It is more than clear that Russia and China do not intend to be bound. All evidence – including China’s lack of information on Russian aggression or the current status of the war – shows that the two will remain separate sovereign allies without military understanding and nothing further.

So now it remains to be seen how India will manage its future strategies. So far, its neutrality policy has drawn criticism from the West and admiration from the East and South. It is based on a domestic political consensus, although many would prefer closer alliances with NATO and QUAD.

Neutrality is not the same as non-adaptation, is not based on normative principles and is primarily transactional. At the same time, the stability of a position where one is not involved in a conflict attracts the attention of capital and industry.

India will be drawn in both directions, but it seems more than clear that it can not be drawn into any military alliance. So far, this confusion remains as it is.


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