|RUSSIA-INDIA-CHINA STRATEGIC TRIANGLE CONTOURS EMERGE: An Estimative Analysis
by Dr. Subhash Kapila
The prospect of a Russia-India-China strategic triangle’s emergence has been the subject of continuing analysis by political and strategic analysts ever since Russia mooted the proposal in the late 1990s. The emergence of such a triangle, if and whenever it takes place, would alter the global strategic balance in a strikingly significant manner.
A well-acknowledged fact today is that not only the global economic centre of gravity has moved to Asia but also that the global strategic centre of gravity too is in the process of decisively moving towards Asia . The emergence of a workable Russia-India-China strategic triangle would mark the culmination of such a process.
The emergence of a Russia-India-China strategic triangle would herald the arrival on the global strategic calculus of a “ TRINITY OF THREE ASIAN POWERS” all of whom are nuclear weapons states and combining preponderant military strength. Two of them are Permanent Pembers of the UN Security Council. Two of them, India and China have witnessed remarkable economic growth. Obviously, this would raise hackles in world capitals, and subtle attempts will be made to thwart such an emergence.
The meeting of the Russian, Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministers in Vladivostok in the beginning of June 2005 is an indicator that Russia , India and China are seized actively in exploring the prospects of such a strategic triangle. Admittedly, it cannot emerge overnight but one cannot also dismiss the fact that contours, however faint presently, have begun to take shape.
In international relations and ‘realpolitik’, the approaches to regional and global strategic balances keep changing with the changes in the strategic formulations of the major powers and the inter-se relationships amongst these powers. Therefore , the emergence of a Russia-India-China strategic triangle, therefore, does not seem to be all that far-fetched or inadvisable. The international strategic dynamics are impelling Russia , India and China to move in the direction of such a strategic combination.
Before moving further into the analysis, it needs to be recorded that the major contributory factor which impels Russia, India and China to explore the prospects of a joint strategic triangle lies in the United States unilateralism, its propensity to seek military solutions to global security issues outside the framework of the United Nations and its selective approaches on issues of global terrorism, nuclear proliferation and strategic delinquencies of its regional protégés.
After the end of the Cold War, President Bush Sr. promised the world a “New World Order” and “peace dividends” in its wake ensuring peace and stability. Today, the world perceives that what President Bush Jr. is engaged in is a “New World Order” fashioned and crafted to serve American national security interests exclusively, even if regional stability in differently parts of the world is disordered.
Russia , India and China, in different ways are being faced with regional challenges, generated by United States strategic policies. Hence the urge in these three major nations to explore convergence of strategic interests amongst themselves.
The Joint Communiqué issued after the meeting of the Russian, Indian and Chinese Foreign Minister at Vladivostok on 2 June 2005, reflects this urge.
Vladivostok Foreign Ministers Meeting of Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers Joint Communiqué (2 June 2005) Analysed:
The significant points incorporated in this Joint Communiqué are:
“The ministers reiterated that the three countries share similar views on the major global development issues in the 21st century, support the democratization of international relations and establish a just international order on the basis of adherence to the rules of international laws, equality and mutual respect, as well as cooperation and promotion of multi-polarisation.(first paragraph of the Communiqué)
“The ministers also stressed that as the most comprehensive international organization, the United Nations should play a central role in this respect.”
“The ministers believed that it is necessary to reform the UN including the Security Council, in a comprehensive manner, to ensure the UN reflects the reality of today’s world and fulfills its functions more effectively.”
“The ministers indicated the willingness to conduct three party cooperation to cope with new threats and challenges. They stressed that any form of terrorism represents one of the most serious threats to international peace and security regardless of its roots and motives. The ministers agreed that the fight against terrorism should be continued unswervingly and no double standards should be adopted.”
“The ministers discussed the prospects of economic cooperation among the three parties, identifying significant potent