India-Russia ties: Bilateral partnerships take time to develop and the benefits of the shared tie are long-lasting. The key to an enduring strategic partnership lies in the shared beliefs and the non-subjugation of the interest of the other counterparts. One such relation is that of India and Russia which is cherished by both the nations as a ‘special strategic partnership’. Contrastingly, the expansionist Chinese, like an envious mistress, is determined to undermine the flourishing Indian ties with the United States and the venerable Indo-Russian partnership.
China can never make inroads in the Indo-Russian Alliance
The recent statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi points out the Chinese readiness to work with India for strengthening the “steady and sound growth” of bilateral ties between the two rivals. The opinion seems to highlight the Chinese nervousness after the recent bashing at the hands of Indian forces in the Tawang region.
The Chinese seem to playing foul by indicating that China and India can come closer in the times to come. The move can also be seen as an endeavour to sever the relations of India with the United States and indicate the formation of a prospective India, Russia and China alliance in contrast to the Western powers.
The Chinese foreign policy is an amalgamation of ‘hot and cold’ strategy that aims at backstabbing the opponents with diplomatic and economic channels once it fails to subdue them with military might. The recent statement of the foreign minister is in line with the Chinese nefarious design to ‘give signals of peace, while preparing for a war’ and isolate India in the geopolitical arena. However, the Chinese fail to give due recognition to the fact that India has great strategic partnership with the two Cold War rivals and none of them would fall in the trap of China.
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Chinese strategy to bite back under the guise of friendship
Russia, on the other hand might have seemingly developed a close association with China in recent times, but is equally aware of the expansionist tendency of the Chinese. In the past, the two nations have fought in the Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969. The clash is supposedly the ‘most serious border clash’, which brought the world’s two former communist states to the brink of war, near Zhenbao (Damansky) Island on the Ussuri (Wusuli) River, near Manchuria.
However, despite the conflict ending in a ceasefire, the Chinese are still eyeing an opportunity to reclaim the Russian territory and are looking forward to capitalising on the reducing might of Russia and its defences.
The intentions of the Chinese can be understood from the fact that the Russians were left alone to tackle the Western powers, despite the Chinese diplomatic channel supporting the invasion at first, but later abstained from out rightly supporting the Russians on the UN platforms.
Consequently, the Russians, who have to a great extent been isolated on the global platforms, have received unconditional support from India, despite India having reservations against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That is to say, the Chinese are not dependable partners and both Russia and India are aware of the foul play of the Chinese and cannot side with the ‘Imperialist motives’ of the Chinese.
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Russian inclination towards India as opposed to China
The Indian foreign policy is heavily reliant on its bilateral relations with Russia. Similarly, Russia views India as a trusted ally with a long history that has contributed significantly to growth of the two nations with active collaborations in the fields of politics, security, trade and economics, defence, science and technology and cultural well-being.
Conversely, the two nations have an active military technical cooperative sphere, with ongoing production of ‘flagship joint ventures’ projects such as the ‘Brahmos missile system’, the ‘Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft’, the ‘Multi Transport Aircraft’, the ‘SU-30 aircraft’ and the ‘T-90 tanks’, amongst other collaborations in the field of space and nuclear science.
That is to say, with India, Russia has a shared partnership and ties and gets the leverage of playing an equal partner in production and export of technology. On the other hand, with China, Russia had to play a second fiddle and only outsource technology. Thus, the significance of India-Russia ties cannot be equated with that of Russia and China. In addition, the alliance of India and Russia can never join hands with the ‘Imperialist force’ of China, which sees both the nations as historic enemies.
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