Recently, the Presidents of Russia and China met at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of power of Chinese Communist Party. 

More about the News: 

  • The two leaders also attended a concert to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties.
  • Russian President also received a welcome ceremony featuring a guard of honor by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
  • This two-day visit of the Russian president to China coincides with Russia’s significant influence over the war in Ukraine. 

China-Russia Ties during Ukraine war:

  • China and Russia formed a strong partnership just before Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. Russia now controls significant parts of Ukrainian territory. 
  • The West, particularly the US, is worried about China’s role in supporting Russia’s war efforts. 
  • US officials highlighted China’s supply of ‘Duel use tech items’ that aid Russia’s military, like missiles, tanks, and lorries.
  • Dual-use items are goods, software, and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications.
  • Russian imports of tools and chips from China have risen sharply. 
  • Although in his recent visit to Europe, China promised not to sell weapons to Russia and to control the flow of military-related goods. 
  • During the Russian president’s recent visit to China, China re-emphasized their close relationship and discussed ending the war in Ukraine with a political settlement. 

Evolution of the China-Russia Relations:

  • The relationship between China and the Soviet Union had a rocky start. 
  • Mao Zedong (Chinese premier from 1949 to 1976) faced delays and discomfort during his visit to Moscow in 1949 to meet his counterpart Joseph Stalin (1924 to 1953). 
  • Throughout the Cold War, they were rivals, competing for control of the global communist movement.  
  • Both nations even fought a brief border war in 1969. 
  • Relations improved after Mao died in 1976, but remained cool until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
  • Since the 1990s, there have been several milestones formalizing cooperation, like the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation (2001).
  • In the post-Cold War era, economic ties became crucial. China is now Russia’s largest trading partner and top Asian investor. 
  • Russia is seen by China as a source of raw materials and a valuable market for its goods.
  • Western hostility towards Russia after the Crimea annexation in 2014 and later developments in Ukraine pushed Moscow closer to Beijing. 

India’s concerns about increasing ties between China-Russia:

  • India believes the West’s actions drove Russia towards a stronger partnership with China.
  • The Russia-China defense axis poses several critical questions for India.
  • India heavily relies on Russia for about 60-70% of its defense supplies, and it is especially crucial during the ongoing standoff with China at the border. 
  • Because of this, India wants to ensure the Russian defense industry doesn’t suffer from Western sanctions.
  • Some Western analysts worry that Russia could become a subordinate to China, which could impact India. 
  • Historically, the Soviet Union’s position during the 1962 war was not particularly supportive of India. However, in 1971, the Sino-Soviet split led them to support India against China.
  • Regarding potential conflict between India and China, Russia’s stance may not be as supportive as in the past.
  • India has legitimate concerns that Russia’s alignment with China’s Indo-Pacific stance could hinder India’s goal of establishing a ‘multipolar Asia’ and exacerbate its security challenges vis-à-vis China.
  • However, the China-Russia relationship is often described as a “strategic partnership,” it’s not a formal alliance. They may not always support each other unconditionally.

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