Hong Kong (CNN) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Vladimir Putin in Asia “Dear friend”. Chinese President Xi Jinping goes a step further and calls on the Russian president toBest and closest friend“.
But Russia’s war in Ukraine This has cast doubt on Russia’s previous heated relations with Asian powers such as China and India.
China and India have refused to condemn Russia’s brutal invasion, and both abstained from voting on UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling on Moscow to immediately suspend its invasion of Ukraine.
But as the United States makes it clear that it sees countries that do not condemn Putin’s war with Russia, the two most populous nations in the world face international pressure to speak out or risk being considered complicit.
The failure of the two countries to do so has exposed Russia’s enormous influence in Asia, where arms sales and unconnected trade have allowed Moscow to exploit regional wrongs and weak relations with the West.
In the United States and Europe, leaders have designed their response to the invasion as part of a broader ideological war to defend democratic freedom and the rule of law. But for Asia’s two major powers, those lines are much blurred, with experts saying India and China are more motivated by selfishness.
Relations between China and Russia
Ji and Putin have never been so close, as Russian troops concentrated on the Ukrainian border just weeks before Russia invaded.
On A 5,000 word statement As the Beijing Winter Olympics began, the couple said there were “no limits” to the relationship between Russia and China.
Countries amassed the record of $ 146 billion Last year continued the tradition of bilateral trade and joint training with large-scale integrated military training.
But the real key behind their close relationship is their mutual tensions with Washington.
Now their so-called unlimited relationship is being put to the test.
Questions have already been raised about how much Shik knows about Putin’s plans. The Western intelligence report indicated that Chinese officials had asked Russian officials in early February Wait until the Beijing Olympics are over Before the invasion began.
Until now, China has refused to condemn Russia’s attack or call it an “invasion.” He further added that he understood Moscow’s “legitimate security concerns”. Chinese state media have also repeatedly claimed Russian talks on Ukraine. On Wednesday, Guo Xuqing, chairman of the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission of China, said. China will not participate in the embargo.
But Beijing also has ties to Ukraine It has China as its largest trading partner. Ukraine joined Xi’s flagship belt and road development and infrastructure initiative in 2017, and last year Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky hailed Ukraine as a “bridge to Europe” for China. Freight trains to Europe pass through Ukraine, and China is a major source of goods such as corn and barley. Invasion.
In a call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Wang Yi last week, he said China was “deeply saddened” by the conflict.
With more dependent and isolated Russia, China has the potential to benefit economically from Beijing He also worries that his companies will be embroiled in Western sanctions against Russia. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Beijing-backed development bank, said on Thursday. He stopped all his activities “War breaks out in Ukraine” in Russia.
China will also have to deal with a possible decline in relations with the West.
Russia’s occupation of Ukraine has united Western allies in no other way in recent years, and China’s indirect support has not gone unnoticed.
Some analysts have pointed to similarities between Russia’s plans for Ukraine and fears about Taiwan’s future, claiming that it is an autonomous democratic island, owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
“Ukraine is a wake-up call for Europe, North America and other democracies,” said Steve Chang, director of SOAS China at the University of London.
“Suddenly there will be countries in Europe and elsewhere that will realize that more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, we need to be prepared for events that we do not necessarily consider.”
“In that context, China’s commitment and China’s aspirations for Taiwan will be of great concern to many countries,” he said.
Relations between India and Russia
There is an elephant in the room when talking about India’s relationship with Russia: China.
India, the world’s largest democracy, sought to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region. India’s role in Quad, an informal security group with the United States, Japan and Australia, is a sign of this, which has been very active recently.
It has a security relationship with Russia: more than 50% of India’s military equipment comes from Russia. That equipment is so important because of India’s current tensions on the border with China that it could escalate again. India also has a tense relationship with neighboring Pakistan. Crisis erupted in its border region of Kashmir Controversial in 2019.
In the meantime, India signs $ 5 billion arms deal with Russia For an air defense missile system in 2018, the US side is well aware of the sanctions that the United States could impose under the Anti-US Anti-Terrorism Act (CAATSA).
Happyman Jacob, an associate professor of diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said India does not see the situation in Ukraine in terms of relations with that country, but thinks about the dangers in its own backyard.
“It’s not about being against the West or supporting Russia,” Jacob said. “(The Indian government) does not openly support Russia, but it must take a very careful and prudent approach.”
Until now, India has tried to play on both sides: Modi has spoken with both Zhelensky and Putin, and has pledged humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Modi did not openly condemn Russia’s attacks; In his call to Putin on February 24, he called for “immediate cessation of violence” and “concerted efforts by all parties.”
Russia and India have long had friendly relations since the Soviet era, when the Soviet Union helped India win the war against Pakistan in 1971. There is a relationship between Putin and Modi, one of the two world leaders who visited Putin last year. To visit New Delhi in December.
Harsh V., Professor of International Relations at King’s College London and Director of the Strategic Research Program at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. Bandh said, “For India, Russia must stand against China.” “He must balance his historic relations with Russia with the growing relations with the West.”
US defense trade with India has increased From almost zero in 2008 to over $ 20 billion in 2020. Ian Hall, a professor of international relations at Griffith University, said that as Russia’s war continues, there may be less security support for Putin for countries such as India, “with an incredible rate of withdrawal from Ukraine.”
There is also internal pressure: calls from within India for the expulsion of hundreds of Indian students stranded in the northeastern city have risen following the killing of an Indian student in a Russian bombing raid on Kharkiv last week while shopping for groceries. Sumi has been under heavy shelling in recent days.
China and India will be with Russia for selfish ends
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, there were occasional rifts in these relations. Now, with widespread condemnation of its actions, Russia can be considered a major power in the West. It will make its relations with countries like China and India even more important.
“During his (Putin) presidency, he placed great emphasis on re-establishing old Soviet ties with Asian partners,” said Herv Lemahiu, director of research at the Lowe’s Institute, a think tank based in Australia. “He has ballast in Asia … and, as we have seen, he does not just rely on China.”
China and India maintain friendship for selfish reasons, but for different reasons.
Zhang of SOAS says China has a “clear interest” in ensuring that people like Putin are in power.
“They share two key strategic interests: one is to reduce US world leadership by one or two points, and the second is to make the world safer for dictatorships,” Zhang said.
But Beijing’s support is conditional: if the Russians do not succeed enough to help the countries’ shared goals, China may reconsider its support, he said.
Elsewhere in Asia, US allies South Korea and Japan have condemned Russia. Singapore has also imposed sanctions against Russia. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Released a statement last week Not condemning or referring to Russia’s actions as an invasion, 8 out of 10 members voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution calling on Russia to immediately stop using its forces in Ukraine. Laos and Vietnam are not the only ones voting.
For a democratic India, security and development concerns may come first.
“In Asia, the fundamental challenge for most is China’s growing power, China’s enormous strength,” said Manoj Kevlarmani, head of the Indo-Pacific research project at the Takshashila Institute in Bangalore.
“This pair of democrats and dictators is complicated: the world is more complex.”
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