Geopolitics: President Xi’s visit to Russia as a peacemaker. brief analysis
When two big heads of state meet, the world takes a note on the go. But when one the
Head is President Xi and other Putin, the world stops and takes note. A very important meet
happened yesterday as Xi met Putin in Moscow. The ostensible reason for the
meeting as presented to the world was to act as a peacemaker between Ukraine and
Russia and enhance XI personality as a world leader. Honestly, no one is
expecting any significant outcome for the Ukraine-Russia war through this meeting. Yet
Xi has gone all the way to Moscow for the same. Interestingly China enjoys cordial relations with both
Russia and Ukraine until recently. A lot of trade activities have happened between China
and Ukraine. But then China has now taken sides with Russia and is planning to supply
ammunition to the war-torn country i.e Russia.
This meeting is important for multiple reasons. There are implications for the world,
the US, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, and to us. Let us take each of them.
At present, the world is clearly divided between two opposite polarities. One led by
The United States and the other by China. They are the world’s biggest superpowers. But
United States has chosen to target Russia first and planned to encircle it with NATO
members. Thus the whole Ukraine affair crisis starts with this strategy which is also the
starting point to understand geopolitics. As Russia is weakened significantly due to
war casualties, by all means, China has stepped in at a very crucial junction. Chinese
support to Russia in terms of ammunition will certainly bolster Russia’s resolve and
strengthen it considerably to overtake Ukraine. And if the two countries Russia and
China unites with some other countries, it will become a very formidable block
opposite the NATO alliance led by the United States.
Prior to visiting Chinese President XI brokered a peace process between Saudi and Iran.
While Iran has suffered at the hands of America, the position of Saudi Arab has rattled
many observers. This peace has been also projected as the growing clout of China and
Therefore the visit of Xi is quite important for the United States.
Coming to Russia, this visit is as critical as it can be. As we know Russian troops and
hence its arms and ammunition have suffered the most in an attempt to overtake
Ukraine. Its just short of losing the war of it continues for some more months and
America along with other countries helping Ukraine with everytjing they can. Thus its a
the war between Russia and America indirectly. A direct war between them would have put
the world at greater risk and could have easily gone into nuclear warfare. By keeping
the war Indirect America has played a very strategic game. Therefore China joining
with Russia will act as Sanjeevni to the Russians in terms of morals and confidence
booster as well as arms , ammunition and finances. Therefore the stakes are quite
HIGH for the Russians from this visit .
Europe will also be watching the outcome of this visit with all attention. Both Germany
and France are not fully aligned with America on this Ukraine-Russia war. Most of the
European countries depend on Russian oil and gas for their sustenance. some how the
crisis have not impacted the lives in these countries as much as it was expected and the
winter is now almost at its fag end. Nonetheless countries like Germany and France
have realized the folly of alienating Russia. The rumored sabotage of NOrdstream gas
lines by some other country ( USA) and not Russia has also not gone well with experts.
If the war escalates Europe will be also one the most affected area and no one would
like to have a full war next to its borders.
WE will take China next and finally India.
China has been playing smartly from day one. It has kept low initially without taking
much sides with any of the countries. However, like India it also remained abstain from
UN led vetoes against Russia. There is a difference between the approach of India and
China. While India also didnt take sides with Russia and tried to remain neutral, and
therefore watched from a distance, Chinese did the same with a clever strategy. They
wanted to be double sure before taking sides. And its now that they have aligned with
Russia openly which has many aspects.
First the cold war between America and China is now at its peak and just short of a war.
Taiwan as always has been one of the factors for this open rivalry. But more that han its
the challenge to US hegemony that has raised the stakes between the two superpowers.
China is kust short of overtaking America though oexperts have difference of opinion
on this. Yet no one denies that China has come quite closer to challenge America.
America has been also more assertive by blocking critical semiconductor chips and
other important utiliteis for China.
With Russian power on the decline and the only hurdle for Chinese ambitious plan to
be number one superpower in the world, it has to just shadow United States. There can
be no better time than this for the same. By giving a helping ahnd to Russia China will
keep bleeding the Americans. However its straegic helping hand to Russians is also not
all pink. The two countries have not been the best of friends despite being same
ideologically . They share a long border and there have been crisis between the two.
But with dwindling Russian empire after USSR disintegration and further with poor
economy and American plans to encircle Russia with NATO, the Russians have found
themselves in a very existential like situation. For whatever the american led media tells
about Putin, it s safe to say that Putin was left with not much options when he has
decided to take countries like Georgia and now Ukraine.
The Chinese are thus trying to play multiple games. To what extent they will support
Russia is to be seen after this visit. Our guess is it wll be just sufficient for the Russians
to stay afloat and keep fighting.
Now we will come to how this all impacts us i.e. India.
As we know India is playing a very fine balancing act by just remaining on the fences
and taking sweet to both the countries. There are compulsions as well as strategic issues
behind these indiam stance. Compulsion because of dependence on Russian arms while
strategic because of multiple dimension. We cant alienate with US and be toattly with
the Russians as both US and India share same values but also becasue of new strategic
cooperation between US and India since Trump days. The growing rift between US and
China has helped this besdies the Vhinese bullying in Asia and the recent Galwan fight
has made India more cautious vise versa towards China.
Therefore India cannot afford to ignore this visit of Xi to Russia. It would like to see
the growing friendship also termed another iron hand friendhsip between the two .
Indian strategists might be hoping that the newly found friendship between the two
should not grow beyond a limit . For it helps India. This is also the reaosn if readers
remember we have written in the early stages of this war that India should conmtinue to
support Russia and make sure Russia does not get dependent on China completely.
The visit of Xi to Russia will decide the course of geoploitics and world history or odre
in days to come. Its a very strategic move that will have multiple consequences. India
has to be also cautious for its outcomes. A growing friendship between Russia and
China , with Russian dependency increasing on Chins is not good for India. Russia
should also find India more interesting than China but they will not. China is BIG and
in a better position to influence Russians economically and militarily in this war. BUt the
contribution of India can also be not ignored.
India has to still play the game of diplomacy with all the subtle art. The best thing for
it will be to convince the Americans that Its not Russia but China which poses more threat
to the Americans. America has played foolishly and are giving China just the
an opportunity where it can Check mate them. By trying to expand in Europe they have
exposed themselves in a big way. No wonder one day this strategy will counter fore on
them. As of now no world economy is on good shape. Who bleeds more and who keeps
its nerves strong will decide the future destiny of the world.
Bit there is no doubt that the visit of xI to Russia has just initiated a strategic direction
for geo politics. Who is the actual King and who is the pawn is difficult to say but at
the moment the Chinese are having an upper hand is what one can say safely.
Dr Asheesh Shah