China Strikes Conciliatory Tone With India As New Asian Geopolitical Alliances Begin To Emerge In Wake Of Russian Issues

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by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

BRICS Group could become Eastern Bloc With Power To Challenge US Global Interests

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with his counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi in the first face to face meeting between the two sides since skirmishes broke out in disputed border areas in 2020.

India has maintained since then that no normalcy can return to bilateral relations until Beijing deals with the border issue and places it at the forefront of any joint discussions.

In light of the current geopolitical changes swirling around Russia, it appears that Beijing has now considered the time ripe for a reevaluation of those ties, given that both Beijing and New Delhi maintain strong, positive relations with Moscow. While Wang did state that “The two sides should put the differences on the boundary issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and adhere to the correct development direction of bilateral relations”, which is somewhat contradictory to India’s position, the fact the two sides met should be seen as a positive bilateral step.

Wang also met with India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, who requested de-escalation at the border. It is not clear if any agreements or solutions were agreed upon or if India offered to pull back its troops if China did.

However, Wang did strike a note of renewed cooperation between the two by saying, “China does not pursue the so-called “unipolar Asia” and respects India’s traditional role in the region. The whole world will pay attention when China and India work hand in hand.”

The meeting will be raising alarm bells in Washington, as a rapprochement between China and India, with Russia in forming an Asian Alliance together with them will raise serious security and financial concerns. Russia is a major weapons supplier to both, while all have been examining ways to de-dollarize and diminish US sanctions and financial threats. In behaving aggressively towards Russia, India and China may feel that mutual alignment may be a better protective shield against perceived US global hegemony. All are members of the BRICS grouping, which also includes Brazil and South Africa.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro met with Russian President Putin in February just prior to the Ukraine conflict and agreed to significant nuclear energy and food trade with Russia. South Africa has also been loathe to criticize Moscow during the conflict. China is current Chair of the BRICS for 2022 and will be hosting the annual summit later in the year.

With the BRICS possessing an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion, 41.5% of the world population, the BRICS group has a combined nominal GDP of US$19.6 trillion (23.2% of global total), and an estimated US$4.46 trillion in combined foreign reserves. This now takes on enhanced geopolitical significance if it is mutually decided to stick together to prevent a complete US take-over of the West and attempt to enforce its foreign policy on a global basis – which is exactly what Beijing, Moscow, and potentially India, may well be feeling.

Prior to the India visit, Wang visited Afghanistan on a surprise trip to Kabul to discuss Belt and Road Initiative assistance with the Taliban leadership.

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