Russia has wanted strategic partners in Eurasia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with India and China emerging as the strongest candidates. But while Russia has pursued cooperation with the two in both multilateral forums and in trilateral relations, the war in Ukraine has left Russia more isolated than ever — meaning Russia needs India and China for its geopolitical pursuits more than India or China needs Russia. The Institute for Security and Development Policy’s Jagannath Panda discusses how Russia has influenced China-India relations, the implications for U.S. foreign policy, and how the United States can navigate multilateral forums that include this trilateral strategic alignment.
The Latest @ USIP: Russia, India and China’s Growing Trilateral Partnership
Why We Should All Worry About the China-India Border Dispute
The December 2022 clash between Chinese and Indian troops along the two countries’ 2,100-mile-long contested border — known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — highlights a worrying “one step forward, two steps back” trend. This brawl was the worst since 2020, when fighting in the Galwan Valley took the lives of 20 Indian and at least four Chinese soldiers. Although these clashes are often followed by dialogue and other steps to reduce tensions, both sides have increasingly militarized their border policies and shown no indication of backing down. And the situation on the border remains tense, as Beijing and New Delhi are hardening their positions on either side of the LAC, with the potential for escalation between the two nuclear-armed powers.
At the G7 Summit, Leaders Talk Tough on China but Moderate Tone
The major headline from this year’s G7 summit in Hiroshima was the appearance of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his push to end Russia’s war on his country. But another G7 concern, China, also featured prominently at the summit. While this year’s G7 leaders’ communique featured some more moderate language on China than last year’s, it also focused heavily on economic coercion, condemning a “disturbing rise” of the “weaponization of economic vulnerabilities” — a not too subtle jab at China’s economic statecraft. Still, even as U.S.-China relations remain tense, this year’s discussion of constructive engagement represents a shift more aligned with European and Japanese stances on how to deal with the challenges posed by China.
China Looks to Fill a Void in Central Asia
As the Group of Seven met at the end of last week in Hiroshima, Japan, China organized a summit with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, marking a new chapter in Beijing’s engagement with the region. Central Asian states are looking for a new partner to help ensure their own security against domestic rebellions, as Russia’s war in Ukraine has limited Moscow’s ability to fulfill a longstanding role as a guarantor of domestic stability in the region. While most of the summit’s public discussion focused on economic and trade issues, China noted that it would help Central Asia enhance it’s law enforcement and security capabilities, which aligns with Beijing’s intensifying campaign for “global security.”
Carla Freeman on China’s Vision for a New Global Security Order
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative seeks to supplant the U.S.-led order, and it is gaining traction in the Global South. “There is a sense among developing countries that the international security order isn’t working that well for them,” says USIP’s Carla Freeman. “But none of these countries want to be forced to choose between the U.S. and China.”