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7th April 2023 (7 Topics)

Rebalance of Power

Context:

  • China has the capacity to limit Russian engagement with India, including in defence. This must enter our foreign policy and security calculations.

Increasing Russia-China engagement:

  • China’s agenda: Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia from last month is of greater significance than is apparent in most analytical comments in India and abroad. It carried forward the promise of the “no-limits partnership” and “no forbidden areas of cooperation”.
  • Against USA: Both Russia and China are against US and amid the Ukrianian crisis; China has maintained its relations with Russia.
  • Changing game: The balance of power is changing, according to them, in their favour and the change could be hastened if China and Russia were to team up.

Reason for increasing engagement:

  • Sino-Russian strategic partnership: China has been able to structure a significantly advantageous economic and energy partnership with Russia.
  • Increasing imports and dependence: China’s import of Russian oil has gone up by 8 per cent and of natural gas by 50 per cent. A new pipeline is being planned from the Russian Arctic gas field of Yamal to China through Mongolia.
  • China’s plan to explore land routes: The long-term effort of China has been to diversify its energy supplies away from the strategically vulnerable maritime route to the more secure landward supply routes from Russia and Central Asia.
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