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China and Russia have proposed setting up a new “regional security dialogue platform” to address security concerns of countries in the region, as their foreign ministers hit out at the United States for “forming small circles to seek bloc confrontation”.


GS-II: International Relations (India and its Neighborhood, International Treaties, Policies and Agreements affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What transpired in the Russia China foreign ministers meet?
  2. Significance of Russia-China ties and RIC to India
  3. Russia-India-China Grouping (RIC)

What transpired in the Russia China foreign ministers meet?

  • Russia and China proposed the establishment of a regional security dialogue platform to converge a new consensus on resolving the security concerns of countries in the region.
  • China and Russia are already part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security grouping, which includes India.
  • China and Russia have rejected U.S. calls for “a rules-based order” – a call endorsed by the Quad summit – and instead said “all countries should follow the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and “uphold true multilateralism, make international relations more democratic, and accept and promote peaceful coexistence and common development of countries with different social systems and development paths.”

Significance of Russia-China ties and RIC to India

  • India is in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is driven by Russia and China and includes four Central Asian countries.
  • Pakistan’s membership of SCO and the potential admission of Iran and Afghanistan (as member states) heighten the significance of the SCO for India.
  • Growing Chinese influence is testing the informal Russia-China understanding that Russia handles the politico-security issues in the region and China extends economic support.
  • The ongoing India-Iran-Russia project for a sea/road/rail link from western India through Iran to Afghanistan and Central Asia, is an important initiative for achieving an effective Indian presence in Central Asia, alongside Russia and China.
  • Access to Russia’s abundant natural resources can enhance our materials security — the importance of which has been highlighted by COVID-19.

Russia-India-China Grouping (RIC)

  • Russia, India and China (RIC) is a strategic grouping that first took shape in the late 1990s under the leadership of Russia as “a counterbalance to the Western alliance.”
  • The group was founded on the basis of ending its subservient foreign policy guided by the USA and renewing old ties with India and fostering the newly discovered friendship with China.
  • Together, the RIC countries occupy over 19% of the global landmass and contribute to over 33% of global GDP.
  • Even though India, China and Russia may disagree on a number of security issues in Eurasia, there are areas where their interests converge, like, for instance, on Afghanistan. RIC can ensure stable peace in Afghanistan and by extension, in Central Asia.

Trends during formation of RIC

  • When the RIC dialogue commenced in the early 2000s, the three countries were positioning themselves for a transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world order.
  • The RIC shared some non-West (as distinct from anti-West) perspectives on the global order, such as an emphasis on sovereignty and territorial integrity, impatience with homilies on social policies and opposition to regime change from abroad.
  • The initial years of the RIC dialogue coincided with an upswing in India’s relations with Russia and China.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023