International expert on the reasons for the cooling of friendship between China and India with Russia

International expert on the reasons for the cooling of China's and India's friendship with Russia

Because of Western sanctions against Russia, China reduces the supply of high-tech equipment to the Russian Federation, limits cooperation in space and is building up contacts with the EU, bypassing Russia.

Doubts are multiplying in Beijing about the advisability of supporting Moscow. According to the latest statistics, China has drastically reduced the supply of critically important high-tech products (equipment, technologies, etc.) to Russia. China also refused to let Russia into its orbital station, and had previously stopped scientific cooperation with it.

Russia is experiencing serious problems with the export of its main products – oil and gas, which provide the lion's share of state budget revenues. However, China, which the Kremlin has counted on so much, does not want to help her.

India, which has been buying weapons from Russia for many years, unexpectedly suspended indefinitely negotiations with Russia on a deal to buy Ka-31 early warning helicopters. During a visit to the US in April, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India wants to remain a good friend of the West. Recently, India's dependence on Russian weapons has decreased, it has begun to purchase weapons more often in other countries – France, Israel, the United States and, to a lesser extent, from the UK.

What is behind all this, “KP in Ukraine ” asked an expert on East and Asia, director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Studies Igor Semivolos.

International expert on the reasons for the cooling of friendship between China and India with Russia

Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies Igor Semivolos. Photo: facebook.com/Igor Semivolos

China's economy is more oriented towards the West

– Why China and India are moving away now from Russia?

– Yes, indeed, there is now a rather tangible distance between these countries. And there are several reasons for this. If we talk about China, then, even though it is one of the world's leading economies, it is more focused on European and American markets. Trade turnover with them is several times greater than with Russia. Therefore, from the point of view of economic expediency, it is not profitable for Beijing to break off relations with the West, and it keeps its distance from Moscow.

But at the same time, in terms of political expediency, the Chinese still support the Russians. It is beneficial for them that Russia does not lose in the confrontation with the West, since Beijing can hide its expansionist plans behind it.

As for India, there is now a nationalist government in power, which is critically opposed to the West and makes claims to him about the colonial past of the country.

From the economic point of view of expediency, it is not profitable for Beijing to break off relations with the West, and it keeps its distance from Moscow. But at the same time, in terms of political expediency, the Chinese still support the Russians.

That everyone owes them something, that they suffered so much when they were a colony of Britain … That is, they also have a widespread anti-Western discourse, which is also supported by Russia. But unlike China, the West is trying to pursue a more cautious policy towards India.

– Then why did India abandon Russian helicopters and other weapons?

– It's not so much about politics, but about the quality of Russian products. It turned out that she is not quite the same as Moscow itself advertises. The same Russian helicopters are very successful in shooting down our military in Ukraine. That is, this is a failure of the Russian export campaign.

A chance for Kyiv to launch a dialogue with Beijing

– How can Ukraine use this distancing of Beijing from Moscow for its own purposes?

India refuses Russian products not so much because of politics, but because of the quality of these products. This is the failure of the Russian expert campaign.

– The very fact that there has been a distance between these countries, which will only increase over time, is in itself positive for Ukraine. This means at least that China will avoid helping Russia in a conflict with our country. Most likely, it will be limited to ritual statements about the need to achieve peace, and that's it.

At the same time, this gives Kyiv a chance to start a dialogue with Beijing, with which things are currently going badly. There is no Chinese ambassador in Kyiv, relations were damaged due to the situation around Motor Sich, etc. And besides this, the Chinese can and will want to take part in the restoration of Ukraine. All this can make it possible to resume and strengthen the dialogue between the two countries. And we need to start talking now.

– How far can increasing the distance between Russia and China go? Maybe, for example, Beijing will put forward territorial claims to Moscow in the Far East?

– No, this will not happen. They don't want to wage open war now. Therefore, the Chinese will limit themselves only to economic expansion into this Russian region.

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