China-Russian_Moscow is now a junior partner to Beijing, and China can increase military pressure on the disputed border with India at any time. Delhi relies on Russian military supplies to handle the challenge posed by the People’s Liberation Army. Delhi does not enjoy being in this environment.
The main influence on the geopolitics of independent India has traditionally been the triangle dynamic between the US, Russia, and China.India is being forced to reevaluate its foreign relations as a result of the China-Russian alliance’s announcement one year ago this week, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the escalating conflict between the West, Russia, and China.
Vladimir Putin visited Beijing in February of last year to announce a relationship “without boundaries” and “without banned zones.” Undoubtedly, before Putin’s travel to China in February 2022, China and Russia maintained a strategic alliance for a very long period. The Beijing statement established a strong foundation for cooperatively opposing the West.
Both Moscow and Beijing desired a beneficial relationship with the US up to the turn of the decade. They are now considerably closer thanks to Russia’s mounting grudges against the West and China’s growing goal to succeed the US as Asia’s leading power.
On February 4, a few days after making the announcement, Putin invaded Ukraine. When Putin and Xi Jinping met in Beijing, we are unsure of the type if any of their discussions over Ukraine.
It is logical to assume that Moscow’s confidence in taking a chance on a conflict with the West in Europe was boosted by the China-Russian alliance. Putin had thought that his multifaceted military effort would quickly bring down the Kyiv government and annex Ukraine to Russia. Think for a second about how he may have gotten away with it in Ukraine. Putin would have put a stake in the centre of the European security arrangement because he has long grumbled about it.
A swift, decisive, and effective use of force in Ukraine would have shattered the US-led transatlantic security arrangement that has controlled the area for more than seven decades and caused severe division in Europe. The US’s ability to project influence internationally would have been further damaged by Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine, which occurred less than a year after the humiliating US pullout from Afghanistan.
Putin winning in Europe would have had a significant effect on Asia as well. It would have strengthened the idea that America is dying, undermined US relationships in Asia, and fueled China’s desire to fundamentally alter its perimeter. Putin’s route to unifying Taiwan through coercive diplomacy or force could have been easier if he had been able to capture Ukraine.
However, the China-Russian initiative to create a post-Western world order failed in Ukraine. The resolute resolve of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy helped mobilise significant military support from the West and averted the swift fall of the Kyiv state.
Nearly a year after the invasion, Putin is imprisoned in a deadlock that will not be broken. In the early stages of the invasion, Russia acquired land in eastern Ukraine that he has lost close to 50% of. Massive losses in military equipment and personnel have occurred for Russia, and Moscow is currently subject to a strict set of Western economic sanctions.
What happens to the China-Russian partnership now, and what does it mean for India? There are a number of early evaluations that may be made.First, Putin and Xi have helped revive Western unification under American leadership rather than dealing the US hegemony in the international system its death blow. The US has been able to push China and Russia at the same time as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s assault in Europe has aided the US in energising and enlarging NATO. The concern over Chinese territorial expansion in Asia has also been sparked by the Russian invasion. As a result, the US’s bilateral partnerships with Australia and Japan have become stronger. Making it more difficult for Xi to invade Taiwan, Washington has greatly increased its military and political backing for Taipei.
Second, two hesitant and pacifist nations Germany and Japan have joined the conflict against Moscow and Beijing as a result of the China-Russian alliance and the conflict in Ukraine. The so-called “correlation of forces” between the West and the Moscow-Beijing axis is considerably altered by the mobilisation of Japan and Germany, the third and fourth largest economies in the world, respectively.
Now that Moscow and Beijing are posing security difficulties, Berlin and Tokyo have also committed to increasing their defence budget.Berlin and Tokyo are compelled to join Washington in increasing commercial pressure on Russia and China despite their significant economic investments in both countries.
Third, Washington is taking comparable steps to strengthen its ties and alliances in Europe and Asia if Russia and China believed they could rule Eurasia through an alliance. Last June in Madrid, we witnessed the participation of the heads of America’s Asian allies at a NATO summit for the first time. In response, NATO has pledged to show more interest in determining the Indo-Pacific balance of power.
Fourth, there is an increasing possibility that Moscow may become more subservient to Beijing as a result of Putin’s military misadventure in Ukraine, even though the China-Russian alliance’s future is still up in the air. Beijing is unlikely to turn its back on Moscow despite the fact that Russia’s poor strategic performance may have damaged Putin’s relationship with Xi and hindered China’s ambitions. Even as Beijing works to lessen some of the growing Western antipathy against China, a weaker Putin will continue to be a significant asset for Xi.
The uncomfortable situation India finds itself in with China and Russia will only become worse. India is in a dreadful situation as a result of the China-Russian alliance: Beijing may increase military pressure on the disputed border with India at any time; Delhi depends on Russian military equipment to handle the PLA challenge; and Moscow is now Beijing’s junior partner. It is undoubtedly unpleasant for Delhi to be in this situation.
To make matters worse, Delhi’s interaction with Europe and the US has been adversely impacted by its dependency on Russian weapons, which has severely limited India’s position on Ukraine. The largest restriction on India’s ability to act is Delhi’s dependency on Moscow for its military hardware. The Russian cooperation had previously been considered as the key to India’s “strategic autonomy.”
In a unipolar era dominated by the US over three decades ago, India looked to Russia and China to advance a multipolar world. Delhi resorted to the US and its allies to rebalance the region’s power as it confronted the possibility of an Asia controlled by a growing and aggressive China. However, due to President Putin’s war against Ukraine and the growing China-Russian alliance, the transition has simultaneously grown more urgent and challenging.