China-Russia Relations

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  • Stress-Test for Chinese Restraint: China Evaluates Russia’s Use of Force

    The article discusses if China will be inspired by its strategic partner Russia to use force as an instrument of its foreign policy. After a pro et con discussion the authors find that the disincentives created by the Russian example are likely to convince China that it should continue to show restraint under the ‘peaceful development’ formula, and avoid military adventures. The East Asian Peace is thus not seriously threatened, at least not by China—for now.

    March 2017

    Sambit Patra asked: With growing Russian defence ties with China, is Indian strategic defence inventory at threat?

    Mandip Singh replies: The growing relationship between Russia and China is an outcome of their mutual interest in balancing the US ‘rebalancing’ strategy to the Asia–Pacific. However, relations between Russia and China have been marred by differences since the Khrushchev years when it came to a head during the Ussuri River incident in 1966. Ever since, the two countries have sparred over the issue of trans-border migration and changing demography in Russia’s Far East; control over Arctic’s vast resources and trade routes; domination of the Central Asian Republics, particularly its energy resources; and Russia’s allegations of ‘reverse engineering’ of defence equipment by China, particularly the J-10/J-11 planes. However, there have been areas of convergence too. Both countries are on the same page with regards to Syria and Iran, and have a mutual interest in balancing the US in the region. Also, Russia needs to sell its vast oil and gas reserves to China. In recent years, Russian military industrial complex has been in dire need of an infusion of capital. China has stepped in to fill this need.

    The relationship needs to be seen in the light of the above argument. It’s a win-win for both without compromising on their positions in areas of divergence. India depends on Russia for a large number of its weapons, but that percentage is slowly seeing a decline. In recent years, India has undertaken two major initiatives to diversify its weapons procurement arsenal: firstly, to encourage indigenous production. To this end, the new policy on ‘offsets’ and procurement released by the government merits a look, and secondly, India has diversified sources by procuring weapons from a number of countries, for e.g. the MMRCA Rafale from France, C-17 Globemasters and C-130J Hercules from the US, Radars/ISR systems from Israel, and T-90 tanks from Russia, etc. With the increasing focus on indigenous production and encouragement to private-public enterprise in defence industry in India, the dependence on foreign procurements will gradually subside. Thus, I do not visualise any impact of the China-Russia bonhomie on India’s defence inventory.

    China-Russia Relations: Bonding but Can it Endure?

    This issue brief looks at the growing China-Russia relationship in the backdrop of a volatile North East Asia and the US ‘rebalancing’ to Asia –Pacific. While China-Russia relations have not always been cordial, this time it’s a win-win for both-at least for the present.

    April 18, 2013

    Russia-China-India Trilateral: Calibrating a Fine Balance

    The importance of the RIC trilateral initiative lies in the fact that India, Russia and China, as countries with growing international influence, can make substantive contributions to global peace, security and stability.

    November 15, 2010

    Russia and Japan Clash over the Kuriles in the North Pacific

    The clash between Russia and Japan over the Southern Kurils in the North Pacific highlight Russia’s emerging role in the Asia Pacific Region and its relations with China and Japan.

    November 03, 2010

    Twin Purpose Military Exercises of the Chinese PLA in 2009

    The year 2009 has seen the Chinese PLA undertake several military exercises, drills and war games to enhance battle effectiveness as well as promote trust among neighbours.

    December 22, 2009

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