Sino-Russian Alliance


    In Context

    • Recently, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping declared a “new era” in the global order.

    About a new Sino-Russian alliance

    • Russia and China have unveiled a partnership “without limits” and with no “forbidden areas”.
      • They also unveiled a comprehensive long-term agreement that also challenges the United States as a global power, NATO as a cornerstone of international security, and liberal democracy as a model for the world.
      • Russia and China also endorsed their territorial ambitions in Ukraine and Taiwan
    • Other collaborations:
      • Beyond security, the declaration also pledged collaboration on space, climate change, the Internet, and artificial intelligence.

    About the Sino-China Relations

    • The two countries have enjoyed close relations militarily, economically, and politically while supporting each other on various global issues.
    • Post-1991:
      • Diplomatic relations between China and Russia improved after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Russian Federation in 1991.
      • The two countries share a land border which was demarcated in 1991.
    • Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation:
      • Both countries signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation in 2001.
        • The treaty was renewed in June 2021 for five more years.
    • Sharing a special relationship:
      • On the eve of a 2013 state visit to Moscow by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked that the two nations were forging a special relationship.
    • Sino-China Relations with the USA:
      • Until the turn of the 2010s, both Moscow and Beijing sought a productive relationship with the US. 
      • Russia’s accumulating grievances against the West and China’s new ambition to replace the US as Asia’s dominant power have brought them much closer now.

    Sino-China Relations in recent Conflicts

    • Sino-China Relations in Russia-Ukraine War:
      • It is also speculated that the Sino-Russian alliance added to Moscow’s confidence in risking a confrontation with the West in Europe. 
      • Following the implementation of international sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War, China provided economic relief to Russia.
        • China refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine
        • Repeated Russian propaganda about the war, 
        • Opposed economic sanctions against Russia, and 
        • Abstained or sided with Russia in UN votes on the war in Ukraine.
    • Sino-China Relations and China’s aggression against Taiwan:
      • In 2022, Russia added Taiwan to a list of foreign states and territories that commit “unfriendly actions” against its military invasion of Ukraine.

    Analysis of the Sino-Russian alliance and the Ukraine war 

    • On Russia:
      • Loss of territory:
        • Nearly a year after the invasion, Russia has lost nearly 50 per cent of the territory Russia gained in eastern Ukraine during the early phase of the invasion. 
      • Western Sanctions:
        • Russia’s military material and manpower losses have been immense and Moscow faces a harsh regime of Western economic sanctions.
    • Western unity & pressure on China and Russia:
      • Instead of delivering a final blow to the US primacy in the international system, both countries have facilitated the restoration of Western unity under American leadership. 
        • In Europe, Russia’s war has helped the US galvanise and expand NATO.
      • The Ukraine invasion has also allowed the US to put simultaneous pressure on both China and Russia.
    • Chinese territorial expansionism in Asia:
      • The Russian invasion has also triggered the fear of Chinese territorial expansionism in Asia
    • Increased hostility:
      • The Sino-Russian alliance and the Ukraine war have led to the strengthening of US bilateral alliances with Australia and Japan
      • It has also seen two reluctant and pacifist powers Germany and Japan joining the battle against Moscow and Beijing
        • Japan and Germany happen to be the world’s third and fourth largest economies
        • Despite their huge stakes in economic engagement with Russia and China, Germany and Japan have had no choice but to join the USA in ramping up the commercial pressure against Russia and China.

    India’s position & Sino-Russian alliance

    • The triangular dynamic between the US, Russia and China has long been the principal factor shaping independent India’s geopolitics.
    • China’s military pressure & arms dependence on Russia:
      • It is being stated that the Sino-Russian alliance puts India in a terrible predicament as China can put military pressure on the disputed border with India; whereas India depends on Russian military supplies to cope with China pressure.
        • This is certainly not a nice situation for India to be in.
      • Delhi’s arms dependence on Moscow is perceived as the biggest constraint on India’s freedom of action.
    • India’s efforts in reducing its arms dependence on Russia:
      • India in recent days is also seen looking to reduce its over-dependence on Russian weapons and military technology and to produce more weapons at home in partnership with western countries.
        • For example, India and USA signed the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) that which aims to expand India-US cooperation in fields like artificial intelligence and military equipment. 

    India’s Stand on Russia’s War with Ukraine

    • India’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been distinctive among the major democracies and among U.S. strategic partners. 
    • Despite its discomfort with Moscow’s war, New Delhi has adopted studied public neutrality toward Russia
    • It has abstained from successive votes in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and thus far has refused to openly call out Russia as the instigator of the crisis. 
    • India has been under immense indirect pressure from Western nations that have openly condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. 
    • India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

    Source: IE


    Daily Mains Question

    [Q] Analyse the fallout of the Sino-Russian alliance on the geopolitics of West and Asia. Examine India’s position amidst the Sino-Russian alliance and the Ukraine war.