October 16, 2005Foreign Affairs

Shanghaied into cooperating

Not quite

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Andy throws the Siberian Light on Russian attempts to convince India to participate in its joint military exercises with China, under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

For China and India to become involved in a joint military exercise with Russia is a pretty far-fetched idea at the moment, I’d say…

I think this is largely wishful thinking on the Russian part, an attempt to draw India further into the SCO - it currently only has observer status - in an attempt to balance the influence of China. The suggestion really does little more than show the Russia feels it is in a weak position in the SCO and feels that adding in a third large power would dampen somewhat the influence that China has in Central Asia. [Siberian Light]At this point, there is little reason for India to plug into SCO. While it needs to deepen bilateral engagements with countries of Central Asia, it would be prudent to stay out of a multilateral commitment. SCO is very much a vehicle that provides diplomatic cover for Chinese foreign policy interests in Central Asia. No scope, shall we say, for India at all.

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