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Russia-China Relations UPSC NOTE

 Historical Relationship:

  • Putin and Xi have met over 40 times in the past 11 years, reflecting a deepening relationship.

  • Their meeting in Beijing marks the 75th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and is considered one of their most consequential meetings due to its broader global impact.

Phases of Russia-China Relations:

  • The passage outlines five historical phases of Russia-China relations, from territorial expansion and Comintern brotherhood to ideological conflicts and realignments influenced by the U.S.

  • The current phase began in 2012 with China’s growing assertiveness and the subsequent Western pivot towards Asia, leading to closer Russia-China ties, especially after the 2022 Beijing Summit where they declared their ties had "No Limits".

Current Dynamics and Economic Ties

Recent Developments:

  • The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and Western sanctions have pushed Russia closer to China.

  • Their trade reached $240 billion in 2023, with significant energy exports from Russia to China.

Trade Comparisons:

  • Despite growing ties with Russia, China still trades more with the U.S. ($575 billion in 2023).

  • India's trade with the U.S. and China was $118 billion each, and $66 billion with Russia.


Joint Statement and Implications

  • The 7,000-word joint statement after the summit avoided specifics on bilateral economic, financial, and military ties, possibly to avoid Western sanctions or mask disagreements.

  • It criticized the U.S. for its “dual containment” policy and its Indo-Pacific Strategy, indicating a united front against Western influence.

  • Short-term: Intensified bilateral cooperation, particularly in dual-use materials for Russia's Ukraine campaign, and potential Chinese gains in raw materials and technology.

  • Long-term: Possible new Cold War dynamics with China seeking a credible alternative to the U.S.-dominated global order, leveraging organizations like BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Impact on India

Challenges and Opportunities for India:

  • India must assess the durability of Russia-China ties given their historical fluctuations.

  • Russia's economic dependence on China could affect its reliability as India's defense supplier amidst border tensions with China.


Strategic Adjustments for India:

  • India should advocate for a higher profile within the existing global order.

  • Unlike its non-aligned stance during the Cold War, India now has strategic autonomy and should adopt a pragmatic, realpolitik approach to leverage new opportunities and pursue its national goals effectively.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Russia-China Relations UPSC NOTE
Russia-China Relations UPSC NOTE
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