Moscow and Beijing warn India: It will be superfluous

Peter Akopov

The center of world geopolitics has fin-ally shifted to the Indo-Pacific region – the events of recent days de-monstrate this with maximum clarity. Yesterday, Washington hosted the first face-to-face QUAD summit, a four-way stra-tegic dialogue on security issues that brings together the United States, India, Australia and Japan. But in reality, “this is a prototype of the Asian analogue of NATO, a new military-political bloc with a pronounced pro-American character, <…> Washi-ngton will try to draw other countries into this organization, mainly to pursue anti-Chinese and anti-Russian policies.”

Such a harsh characterization was recently given to QUAD by the Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev – and he is not chasing biting wordings. Although the organization was created almost a decade and a half ago, until the spring of this year, consultations in it were held at the expert and ministerial level. And only in the spring of this year, the first summit of the leaders of the four states was held – but in an online format. And now, taking advantage of the participation of foreign leaders in the meetings of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Joe Biden, he gathered them in Washington.

Together with three prime ministers – Scott Morrison (Australia), Narendra Modi (India) and Yoshihide Suga (Japan) – Biden will “find ways to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” Speaking at the UN, the American president said that “we have raised the level of the quadripartite security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the United States in order to tackle a variety of problems – from sanitary and epidemiological security and climate change to the latest technology.” But no one believes Biden, everyone understands that the Americans need QUAD to fight not global warming, but China. And Russia – which is both a Pacific power and an ally of China in the restructuring of the world order.

Well, the fact that the summit meeting of the Quartet takes place just a few days after the announ-cement of the creation of the American-British-Aust-ralian AUKUS, which does not hide its “defense” orientation, completely deprives QUAD of the opportunity to disguise itself as white and fluffy. Moreover, talkative Australians do not hide the essence of what is happening. According to Premier Morrison, AUKUS “adds a lot to the four-country QUAD partnership, and that’s what it is for. Aus-tralia maintains partners-hips with many nations, an-d we believe the Quad-ripartite QUAD and the A-UKUS trilateral partnership are fully complementary.”

Supplement, yes – while Morrison, naturally, denies the anti-Chinese orientation of both formats. And he notes that the Australian program of military re-equipment and the creation of a nuclear submarine fleet (the same one that was announced during the creation of AUKUS) aroused “great interest among partners in India.”

This is the main question now: to what extent is India ready to continue to draw closer to the Anglo-Saxons? Because the complementary “troika” and “four” are not seven countries, but five: the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and India. And only the latter is neither part of the Anglo-Saxon world, nor a state dependent on it (like Japan). India is a fully sovereign power, one of the most important countries in the world. Moreover, during the Cold War, India has always acted as a third force (becoming the core of the Non-Aligned Movement). And Delhi’s relations with Moscow in those years were much closer and more trusting than with Washington.

The bipolar world has long ceased to exist – but the American-style world did not take place either. And in building a new world order, India plays a very important role, and here its strategic interests, the idea of global architecture in many respects coincide with those of Russia and China. Therefore, its participation in BRICS and SCO is not accidental. For all the disagreements betw-een India and China, Russia is extremely interested in the fact that both great po-wers not only look together for ways to solve problems (both bilateral and international), but also prevent external forces from manipulating themselves. Beijing is flawless in this sense, and Delhi is now playing a very risky game.

After the collapse of the USSR, the Indian leadership was looking for a new strategy – while maintaining close relations with Russia, but worried about the extraordinary strengthening of China, they went for rapprochement with the United States, including in the military sphere. But the logic “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” here does not work in Delhi’s favor. Yes, America and India seem to be united by the fact that they are interested in containing China, but their positions are completely different.

For the United States, China is not just a threat to their power, it is a challenge to global domination. Washington wants to “graze the nations” further, while retaining its ideological, military and financial leadership. But at the same time, not arranging military interventions, but building various coalitions to control the situation and contain opponents, involving regional powers in them, in one form or another dependent on themselves or having regional interests similar to American ones.

This is how India is being bred: let’s be friends with us against China. But the Indian attitude towards China is fundamentally different from the US attitude. India does not seek global supremacy; it does not want to be a hegemon. China is a vital neighbor for her, with whom she needs to develop a diverse and close relationship. Yes, the two countries have territorial disputes. Yes, Indians are afraid of being surrounded (and not only economically) by China – through Beijing’s influence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and throughout Southeast Asia.

But sinophobia in India is also actively fueled by those who advocate orientation to the West, instilling fears in the Indians of the Chinese threat (as in Russia they scare them with “Chi-nese expansion” and “bec-oming dependent on Bei-jing”). Of course, when m-aking decisions on participation in the Quartet, Delhi proceeds from national interests: we will balance – to participate in the SCO, and in QUAD, and buy weapons from Russia, and from the United States. So that China can see that it is impossible to put pressure on us and it is useless to surround us.

But what are called – including the American “friends” of Delhi – the Chinese threat? Is Beijing investing huge sums of money in Pakistan getting a port in Sri Lanka? Well, the Celestial Empire needs ports in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean for exports and imports. After all, the narrow Strait of Malacca, through which a huge part of the PRC’s trade passes, can be easily blocked by the Anglo-Saxons (and over time not even by the Americans – otherwise why would Australia need nuclear submarines?). So the Indian fear of China very often has “big eyes” precisely because Delhi is offered to look at Beijing through someone else’s Atlantic glasses.

The Anglo-Saxons want to continue to divide and rule: today their main task is to divide, embroil India and China. After all, only very inadequate “strategists” can stake on the discord between Russia and China, but Sino-Indian relations provide rich ground for combinations and provocations. Moreo-ver, if successful, the blow will be dealt to the entire new “Big Three” – not only India and China, but also Russia, which is extremely interested in strengthening it and is not going to choose between its relations with Beijing and Delhi.

Russia really does not like the company in which Narendra Modi is now participating, but this does not mean that Moscow suspects Delhi of weakness, inability to defend its national interests or a desire to become a military ally of the United States (this, of course, will never happen). No, it’s just that Moscow believes that such games are harmful not only for trilateral relations, but also for India itself: attempts to use the Anglo-Saxon projects cannot be successful. The recent experience with Afghanistan, where Delhi worked very closely with American henchmen and ignored the Taliban, shows how this usually ends.

That is why Nikolai Patrushev calls QUAD “the prototype of Asian NATO,” whose members are being drawn into anti-Chinese and anti-Russian schemes so that Delhi understands how seriously Moscow is taking the new round of the Indo-Pacific game of the Anglo-Saxons. That is why the Secretary of the Security Council came to the capital of India two weeks ago. Moscow believes not only in the friendly feelings of Delhi, but also in Indian wisdom, including geopolitical.

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