China is willing to take over the reins of control of the international system by all means possible, as it believes its time has come.
Sriparna Pathak, Associate Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has raged on for almost a year, and various countries, based on their own national security interests have explicitly or implicitly chosen a side. The two sides in the ongoing war are those of peace or further fuelling of conflict. In this context, several countries including the US and Russia have benefited from the war machinery in different ways, and the contest for not losing face along with not losing the battle continues! When the war broke out last year in February, both India and China came under criticism from several segments of the West for abstaining on votes on Russian aggression at the United Nations (UN).
Fears also arose that there could be a Russia-India-China trilateral seeking to offset the existing world order. What was comfortably ignored in such assessments was the fact that India is the world’s largest democracy and an international system not based on the principles of democracy does not augur well for India. However, over the period of the last one year, such voices have gradually died down, as India has made it clear at several multilateral forums as to how it chooses the side of peace and refuses to fuel further conflict.
The case of China in this context also becomes an interesting one. Just preceding the Russian onslaught in Ukarine, Beijing and Moscow had declared a friendship without limits. Beijing, like Moscow had expected the war to be a swift and decisive one. Even though Beijing publicly claims to maintain neutrality, its actions clearly show which side it is on.
A few examples in this context include China’s criticisms of sanctions against Russia, Russian statements on how China and Russia withstand the West’s efforts to sow discord, Russia seeking Chinese military equipment, even though China denies it, and China’s vote against the resolution at the UN General Assembly on suspending Moscow from the UN Human Rights Council. Before this China had abstained on votes on Russia, but on this one, it voted against the resolution.
Published in: Hindustan Times
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