Commentary on Political Economy

Saturday 26 March 2022

 India is an irredentist, revisionist and revanchist long term enemy of the West. It will never be a great power able to challenge us, like China - unless we let them! India is condemned and doomed by its religion and culture, like Islam, to be the latrine of the world where its filthy cadaveric worms will languish to the end of time. The West must manipulate it to our advantage without EVER forgetting that this subcontinent is a nest of snakes...

China woos India as both face Western ire over Ukraine

By Gerry Shih, Niha Masih and Eva Dou 

Yesterday at 8:59 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 11:32 p.m. EDT

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Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, right, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, greet the media before their meeting in New Delhi on March 25. (@DRSJAISHANKAR/ TWITTER/via REUTERS)


NEW DELHI — As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi struck a conciliatory note on Friday toward longtime rival India and urged the two Asian giants to speak "with one voice” in his first visit to New Delhi since a tense border standoff began two years ago.

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But his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, downplayed the prospects for an immediate rapprochement with China and said the border talks were “works in progress.” Relations could not return to normal so long as the territorial disputes remained unresolved, Jaishankar told reporters on Friday after a three-hour meeting with Wang.

Wang’s visit, initiated by China, came at a sensitive moment for both countries: Beijing has faced Western pressure, and the possibility of sanctions, over its support for an increasingly isolated Russia. India, meanwhile, has also drawn criticism from Western capitals over its continued refusal to condemn Russia or cut off its purchases of Russian arms and oil, despite India’s growing role as a partner to Washington.

As sanctions over Ukraine war mount, Russia turns to India to buy oil and arms

During a meeting with Indian national security adviser Ajit Doval on Friday, Wang pitched China and India as two Asian powers that should stand together. Both countries sought national rejuvenation but should not pose a threat to the other, he said, according to a readout provided by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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“China does not pursue the so-called ‘unipolar Asia’ and respects India’s traditional role in the region,” Wang told Doval, according to the Chinese statement. “If China and India spoke with one voice, the whole world will listen. If China and India joined hands, the whole world will pay attention.”

Wang’s entreaties marked a striking reversal after two years of tough talk and recriminations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors that fought a war in 1962. Troops from both sides died in skirmishes in 2020, and both militaries have ramped up troops, weapons deployments and infrastructure in the sensitive region.

During the run-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, China designated a soldier involved in the June 2020 clash with Indian troops to be a torchbearer, infuriating Indian officials. Chinese state media outlets have also frequently criticized India or belittled its national power.

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But as the Ukraine war erupted and India kept its distance from the Western bloc’s criticism of Russia, China has softened its rhetoric toward its neighbor.

Tanvi Madan, director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution, said that, given the timing of the visit, China seemed to be attempting three things.

“China might be trying to create some diplomatic space for itself, given it is feeling under pressure for its position on Ukraine, and one way would be to try to alleviate tensions with India,” she said.

China also seemed to be trying to create space for Russia, and third, Madan said, to fuel friction between India and its partners, particularly in the West.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, front, and Chinese President Xi Jinping greet leaders at a summit in India in 2016. (Manish Swarup/AP)

Western officials worry that this is an attempt to peel India away from the rest of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the Indo-Pacific partnership that includes the United States, Japan and Australia. The prime ministers of Japan and Australia both spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past week to reaffirm their commitment to India, while U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland visited New Delhi on Monday.

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Speaking to Indian media this week, Nuland urged India to stand on the side of democratic countries.

The “tightening alignment” between China and Russia “isn’t good for us and is not good for India,” Nuland was quoted by the Indian Express as saying. “As the autocracies tighten their relationship … it is very important for the democracies to stand together.”

China, irked by the Quad, faces up to a wary world

Jaishankar, the Indian foreign minister, told reporters Friday that he and Wang had shared their views about the Ukraine conflict but did not provide details. Both India and China agreed on the importance of an immediate cease-fire and return to dialogue, Jaishankar said.

Wang did not press India on its role in the Quad, Jaishankar said.

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In recent weeks, as India came under criticism for buying discounted oil from Russia, Indian officials have expressed irritation at what some have called Western hypocrisy. In an appearance before the Indian Parliament on Thursday, Jaishankar said he agreed with the assessment that the West was playing a “double game” and lecturing India about its dealings with Russia even though NATO members continue to buy Russian energy themselves.

Victor Gao, a former Chinese Foreign Ministry official who serves as vice president of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing, said India shared “similar, if not identical” views with China on the Ukraine conflict and should not bow to the West.

India and China “refuse to condemn Russia for the so-called invasion, they refuse to join in sanctions against Russia, and they walk a very tight rope between Russia and Ukraine,” he said. “I don’t think it is responsible for countries like the United States, or Western countries as a whole, to try to lecture countries like China or India, or try to impose their sanctions onto China or India, and to force them to follow the line of Washington.”

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In New Delhi, the response to talk of a China-India thaw was more circumspect.

C. Raja Mohan, a senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said although India and China both shared complex ties with Russia, “any suggestion that India is going to be bending over backward to be nice to Chinese because there is a Russian problem is, I think, somewhat preposterous.”

The two governments needed to resolve their border dispute first, he said, before India would countenance a rapprochement.

“Whatever the Chinese have said in public,” he said, “there is no evidence that they were ready to really sort all the problems.”

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