India and the New Eurasia

India and the new euroasia


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India and the New Eurasia as 2023 begins, the world is embracing a ‘new normal’ where old and new fault lines are being reconfigured in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific.

India and the new Eurasia

What is Eurasia?

  • The idea of Eurasia is not new. Many used it as a neutral term to describe the vast landmass that connected Europe and Asia.
  • Despite continental continuity, Europe and Asia emerged as separate political and cultural spheres over the millennia.
  • Geographically, Eurasia is a tectonic plate that lies under much of Europe and Asia. However, when it comes to the political boundaries, there is no shared international understanding of what constitutes the region.

How has been the New Geopolitical Dynamics in Eurasia?

  • Japan is trying to build strong military partnerships with Europe, while South Korea, which does not always see eye to eye with Japan, is also trying to raise its profile in Europe.
    • South Korea is selling major weapons platforms in Poland.
  • Australia, which has joined the US and UK in the AUKUS (Australia, the UK and the US) arrangement, is equally eager to bring Europe into the Indo-Pacific.
  • Together Japan, South Korea and Australia are bridging the divide between Asia and Europe long seen as separate geopolitical theaters.
  • This process has been accelerated by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the alliance between Russia and China. This new dynamic presents challenges as well as opportunities for India. But first to the emergence of a new Eurasia.
  • Well before Japan and South Korea turned to Europe, it was China and Russia who altered the geopolitical dynamic in Eurasia.
  • Days before the Russia-Ukraine War, both Russia and China signed an agreement declaring an alliance “without limits” and no “forbidden areas”.
  • China, which had made a largely successful effort to cultivate Europe since the 1990s, deliberately avoided taking sides in Europe’s conflicts with Russia.

How are other Countries Eurasian Policies? click here

  • USA’s Interests in Eurasia:
    • Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy does not seem to account adequately for the rise of Eurasia.
    • US’ interests in Asia lie primarily in the western Pacific and the South China Sea. Both regions are far from the core of the Eurasian theater.
    • However, amidst mounting challenges from China in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain, Washington has begun to rethink its strategic commitments to Eurasia.
      • The USA and EU are engaging in talks about rebalancing the trans-Atlantic responsibilities for Europe’s collective defence.
  • China, A Major Player in Eurasia:
    • The recent most important development in Eurasia is the dramatic rise of China and its growing strategic assertiveness, expanding economic power and rising political influence.
    • Beijing’s approach to the long and disputed border with Bhutan and India, its quest for a security presence in Tajikistan, the active search for a larger role in Afghanistan, and a greater say in the affairs of the broader sub-Himalayan region speak volume about its growing influence.
    • The expansion of China’s Belt and Road initiative and Europe’s growing economic interdependence with China have added to Beijing’s powerful leverages in Eurasia.
      • These leverages were reinforced by a deepening alliance with Russia that straddles the Eurasian heartland.
  • Russia:
    • Russia saw itself as both a European and Asian power but had trouble becoming a part of either.
    • Together Russia and China unveiled a Eurasian alliance that they might have hoped would deliver the long-awaited coup de grace to the global hegemony of the West.
    • The occupation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine are a product of what Putin sees as his historic mission of reuniting the “Russkiy Mir” or the Russian world.
    • When post-Soviet Russia’s effort to integrate with the West soured in the 2000s, it developed “Eurasia” and “Greater Eurasia” as new geopolitical constructs.

How is India’s Eurasian Policy? click here

India and the New Eurasia Security Dialogue: As part of creating a Eurasian strategy, the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan was conducted in 2021. The national security adviser for India asked his colleagues from China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia, and Pakistan to participate in this meeting.
China and Pakistan didn’t attend the summit, though. The fact that Pakistan is reluctant to cooperate with India on Afghanistan illustrates Delhi’s ongoing difficulty working with Islamabad to develop a new Eurasian strategy.
Additionally, it emphasises the necessity of an Indian Eurasia strategy.
The INSTC, or International North-South Transport Corridor
The INSTC is a commendable project that seeks to bind Eurasia together.
It is a multi-modal transportation system that Iran, Russia, and India founded on September 12th, 2000 in St. Petersburg with the intention of fostering transportation cooperation among the Member.

Challenges and Opportunities: The growth of Eurasia makes it more difficult for India to sail on two boats at once. Up till this point, India could easily run concurrently with the continental coalitions led by Russia and China and hunt with the marine coalition (the QUAD) in the Indo-Pacific.
As long as the maritime and continental powers did not engage in open hostilities, this was conceivable.
But the battle between China and Russia and the US, Europe, and Japan is now severe and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Way ahead
India must put as much effort into creating a “Eurasian” policy as Japan and South Korea do. The recalibration of India’s continental strategy is involved in Eurasia, while the Indo-Pacific is about Delhi’s new marine geopolitics.
India has dealt with each of Eurasia’s component regions independently over the years, but Delhi now needs a coordinated strategy to gain a firm presence in the region.
There will undoubtedly be numerous conflicts between and among the United States, Europe, Russia, China, Iran, and the Arab Gulf on India’s journey, but these conflicts shouldn’t be used as an excuse for India to lag behind.
Greater strategic activism that creates possibilities across Eurasia is the key for India.

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