Indo-Russian Relations and the China Threat

On the other hand, as with previous recent Indian ventures which are focused on Russia, despite U.S. overtures, in addition to Russian consultancy for the INS Arihant nuclear reactor, India’s ambitious naval construction program will proceed with Russian assistance. Sharma reports:

Inductions planned for 2012 are three survey vessels, one anti-submarine warfare corvette, one off-shore patrol vessel, 25 fast interceptor crafts, one aircraft carrier being refitted in Russia and two Talwar-class destroyers, again from Russia.[41]

Russian MIGs will fly from aircraft carriers constructed in India:

The new indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) will be based at the Indian Navy’s Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Command. The IAC is expected to launch in early 2012. Right now, the 37,000-tonne ship is under construction at the Cochin shipyard. The Russian fighters MiG-29K would operate from the IAC. An additional contract for 29 of these fighters was signed recently.[42]

Moreover despite historically meaningless concepts such as of “BRIC” and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russia and India are just as cognizant as ever that the threat is from China. A recent joint military exercise between Russia and India was aimed surreptitiously at China, and was reported as such by Chinese and Russian analysts:

Russia and India see China as their major rival, making the joint military exercise near Lake Baikal quite meaningful, said a Russian military analyst. Russia and India started their sixth joint anti-terrorism military exercises Indra-2012 Tuesday in the Republic of Buryatia in southern Siberia, a place near both China and Lake Baikal. “To some extent, the exercise is targeted at China surreptitiously. At least in part of it, China is likely to be an imaginary enemy,” the military analyst said. …Although both Russia and India stressed the joint exercises were aimed to crack down on terrorism, the Russian analyst said it was a meaningless title as most military drills today, including those involves nuclear weapons. According to the Russian government, the drill was part of the 2011-2012 military technology cooperation program between Russia and India.[43]

U.S. global hegemony in the aftermath of the Cold War era lasted no longer than the presence of Yeltsin’s buffoonery. Instead, a multi-polar world is shaping up. Alliances will re-form on the basis of realpolitik, rather than on nebulous concepts such as “Asia” or the “New World Order.” An Indo-Russian axis will emerge to which will gravitate states that do not wish to succumb to American or Chinese hegemony. Many scenarios of crisis, such as conflicts over water resources, will push realignments, and what the Russian geopolitical theorist Professor Alexander Dugin refers to as “vectors” will form under the impress of such regional crises. Such events as the launching of the INS Arihant and the naval reconstruction program, with Russian assistance, are indictors of how the future is already shaping up.


[1] Sudhi Ranjan Sen, “Why INS Arihant, submarine in final stages of testing, is so important,” August 7, 2012, NDTV,

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ranjit Pandit, “India’s elusive nuclear triad will be operational soon: Navy chief,” The Times of India, 8 August, 2012,

[4] Ibid.

[5] Pallava Bagla, “Russians helped with INS Arihant’s heart: Kakodkar,” NDTV, August 3, 2009,

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ranjit Pandit, op. cit.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Suman Sharma, “Navy ready to flex muscles in South China Sea,” The Sunday Guardian, New Delhi, 4 December 2011,

[11] Border Disputes in China,” CBC News, April 19, 2005,

[12] K R Bolton, “Sino-Soviet-US Relations and the 1969 Nuclear Threat,” Foreign Policy Journal, May 17, 2010,

[13] Wenwen Shen, “China and its neighbours: troubled relations,” EU-Asia Centre, March 1, 2012,

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] K R Bolton, “Russia and China: an approaching conflict?,” Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2009.

K R Bolton, “Water Wars: Rivalry over water resources – a potential cause of regional conflict in Asia and the geopolitical implications”, World Affairs, Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2010, pp. 52-83.

[18] A Bajpai, “The ‘Rise of Asia’ Thesis: Strategic Constraints and Theoretical Deficits,” World Affairs, New Delhi, Vol. 16, No. 2, April-June 2012, p. 23.

[19] K R Bolton, “Sino-Soviet-US Relations and the 1969 Nuclear Threat,” op. cit.

[20] Jack Kemp, et al, Russia’s Wrong Direction: What the United States Can and Should Do, Independent Task Force Report no. 57 (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2006),

[21] Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise & Fall of the American Empire (London: Allen Lane, 2004), p. 261.

[22] Shirley A Kan, “US-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, June 19, 2012, p. 1,

[23] Ibid., p. 2.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid., p. 3.

[27] Ibid., p. 4.

[28] Ibid., p. 11.

[29] Ibid., p. 12.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid., p. 18.

[32] K Rapoza, June 28, 2011, “Kissinger: US-China Not Competing for World Domination,” Forbes,

[33] Shirley A Kan, op. cit., pp. 30-31.

[34] Suman Sharma, op.cit.

[35] David S Cloud and Mark Magnier, “India not sold on Closer Ties with US,” Los Angels Times, June 6, 2012,

[36] Ibid.

[37] Nitin Gokhale, “Why India Snubbed US,” The Diplomat, June 12, 2012,

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Suman Sharma, op. cit.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Wang Qi, “China acts as imaginary enemy in Russia-India military drills?,” Sina English, August 10, 2012,