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New Challenges for India’s Foreign Policy

Context:

The grueling Indian elections, one of the largest democratic exercises in the world, will conclude in about a week. A rush of pending policy decisions is expected to commence immediately. However, amidst all this, the geopolitical landscape has become increasingly complex since the elections were announced, showing no signs of calming down.

Relevance:

GS2-

  • India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
  • Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Mains Question:

The global geopolitical landscape has grown more complex with the growing Russia-China ties. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

Ties Between Russia and China:

  • Russia, a long-time partner of India, completed its elections about a month ago. Following his reelection, President Putin made his first state visit to China last week.
  • Russia and China have emerged as pivotal UN Security Council permanent members, whose interests and policies are unlikely to align with the US-led bloc anytime soon.
  • The joint statement released after President Putin’s visit to China underscored the significance of his trip.
  • It sent a message to the Western bloc opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, occurring just as the Chinese president returned from meetings with top European Union leaders, the French President, and received strong support from several East European countries.
  • The European Union and recently the US have expressed serious concerns and implemented tariff measures in response to China’s non-competitive trade practices, particularly the influx of state-subsidized cheap electric vehicles into their markets.
  • Indian trade associations are worried that the loss of the lucrative US market for Chinese electric vehicles might result in these products being dumped in India, causing issues similar to those in Europe and the US.
  • Meanwhile, Russia has shown strong support for the Chinese automotive sector, likely sending a message to Europe and the US.
  • During President Putin’s state visit to China, he emphasized the positive expansion of Chinese automakers and household appliance manufacturers in the Russian market.
  • He acknowledged the negative impact of unlawful actions, sanctions, and restrictions, and expressed full support for collaboration with Chinese counterparts.
  • China has refrained from openly criticizing Russia over its war in Ukraine and has been accused in the past of covertly supplying military equipment.
  • Although Ukraine was mentioned in statements by both President Putin and President Xi Jinping, it was addressed subtly within broader discussions on international foreign policy and geopolitical matters.
  • On foreign policy, President Putin highlighted the joint effort to create a fairer and more democratic multipolar world order, emphasizing the central role of the UN and its Security Council, adherence to international law, cultural and civilizational diversity, and a balanced consideration of all members’ interests. He criticized the formation of alliances, deeming them extremely harmful and counterproductive.

Conclusion:

Reforming multilateral institutions, particularly the UN and securing a permanent membership, has been a long-term goal for India. The new Indian government will face significant challenges in foreign policy in light of the current geopolitical climate. The present geopolitical situation points out that nearly all multilateral forums, where key players and India are major contributors, will be influenced by domestic political pressures and issues.


June 2024
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