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China-Russia Relationship: Implications for India's Strategy



  May 27, 2024

China-Russia Relationship: Implications for India's Strategy


Background:
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a strong and growing partnership, highlighted during their summit in Beijing in May 2024. Their relationship is described as having "no limits" and is significant not just for them, but for the entire world, including India.

Phases of China-Russia Relations:
1. 19th Century: Russia expanded at China's expense.

2. 1949-1960s: Initial brotherhood followed by conflicts like the 1969 Ussuri River clashes.

3. 1970s: Shift as China tilted towards the West post-Nixon's visit.

4. 1990s-2000s: China rose economically with Western support, while Russia dealt with the Soviet Union's collapse.

5. 2012-Present: China and Russia strengthened ties due to growing friction with the West, declaring their relationship has "no limits" in 2022.

Economic Ties:
- Trade between China and Russia reached $240 billion in 2023.

- Russia depends on China for energy exports and crucial materials, especially due to Western sanctions.

- China still trades significantly with the U.S. ($575 billion in 2023), showing its dual approach.

Joint Statement Highlights:
- The 7,000-word joint statement avoided details on their economic and military ties, possibly to avoid Western sanctions or due to internal disagreements.

- Strongly criticized the U.S., indicating a united front against American policies.

Implications for India:
1. Defence Dependencies: India relies heavily on Russia for defense supplies. With Russia's increased dependence on China, this relationship may be influenced by China's interests.

2. Strategic Challenges: India must navigate the deepening China-Russia ties carefully, considering its own tensions with China.

3. Economic Opportunities: India should push for a greater role in the existing global order and leverage its strategic autonomy to balance relations with major powers.

Historical Lessons:
- During the Cold War, India focused on Non-Alignment but often neglected its core national interests.

- In the current global scenario, India must adopt a more pragmatic approach, focusing on socio-economic development and realpolitik.

Conclusion:
India needs to be strategic and clear-headed in its approach, leveraging its strengths and pursuing long-term national goals amidst the evolving global dynamics shaped by the China-Russia partnership.


SRIRAM’s



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