The alliance between Russia and China begins with great hope, but ends with dire conditions. In fact, Russia rarely trusts this longtime friend.
President Putin has made it clear that no extra-regional power (including Russia) plays any role in tensions between India and China; because “both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, are responsible leaders.”
These affirmations make it clear that, although Sino-Russian relations have grown steadily in recent years, it does not mean that Russia will abandon India to please China, its “important” partner. more” of them.
Not only do India and Russia continue to need each other, but Moscow also shares certain historical difficulties with India in the face of a China that wants to be a “world leader”. Currently, Russia is increasingly dependent on China for economy, trade and investment; times that of India.
Despite India’s diversification of military procurement activities, especially from Western countries, in fact, more than 60% of the weapons that the Indian armed forces are equipped with are from Russia. India continues to cooperate closely with Russia, in the production of weapons.
India and Russia are co-producing the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system ; Russia licensed the production of Su-30 fighter jets and T-90 tanks in India. India is buying the S-400 air defense system from Russia. Many modern weapons that China buys from Russia, are also in the service of the Indian Army.
In the history of the India-Russia military relationship there has always been mutual trust; Russia even sold India not only the latest weapons, but also weapons that have not yet entered service in the Russian armed forces.
In the field of defense cooperation, Russia’s confidence in China is not high, because China is producing weapons, by unlicensed copying, of Russian products and exporting them to the international market.
The question is why is India always a better ally of Russia than China? There are three possible explanations: first, Russia has a long border with China and a long history of complicated and acrimonious relations.
Second, Russia does not feel “comfortable” with China’s growing activities in Central Asia, which Moscow has always considered within its vital interests.
Third, the history of China-Russia relations has always been no trust for a long-term relationship in the future. In fact, China has formed an alliance with Russia three times, during the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China; but they did’t last long.
In June 1896, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Li-Lobanov in Moscow, also known as the Sino-Russian Secret Treaty. That was after China lost to Japan, in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894.
The idea was a common defense against Japan. After the defeat in 1894, in addition to having to pay heavy compensation, China had to cede the Liaoning peninsula, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands (Pescadores) to Japan.
But this alliance was only an illusion, when in 1898, Russia forced the Qing government to lease Port Arthur. In 1900, after the people’s uprising in Northeast China, Russia sent troops to occupy the whole of Manchuria (Northeastern China) and even participated in the attack on Beijing.
The Russo-Chinese alliance was built again on August 14, 1945, when the Kuomintang government of Chiang Kai-shek and the Soviet Union signed the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, in the fight against the Japanese army.
Chiang Kai-shek’s goal was to prevent the Soviet Union from remaining in Mongolia, after the Japanese Imperial Army was defeated. Chiang Kai-shek even hoped that the Soviet Union would support the Kuomintang in its fight against the Chinese Communist Party.
But that did not happen; Moscow interpreted the Treaty differently and guaranteed the independence of Mongolia and the Soviet commercial rights in Manchuria, as well as the joint ownership and operation of the China East Railway.
After the new China was established, Moscow and Beijing signed the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance in February 1950. Under the Treaty, if either country were attacked by the other, the other would use all its resources to provide military and other aid.
Although it is a comprehensive treaty, when it comes to political, economic, security, diplomatic and ideological interests; but rifts took place after 10 years and in 1969, the two sides clashed over a territorial dispute.
It is clear from the examples above that each time the alliance between Moscow and Beijing begins with high hopes, but ends with dire conditions. In fact, the Russians rarely trust the Chinese.
However, in recent years, due to Western sanctions, Russia has faced many difficulties; Along with that, because the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected the Russian economy, Russia seems to have had to turn to Chinese.
Even so, Russia is always “wary of friendliness” in its relations with Beijing; Thus, in thinking and acting, Russia still does not really trust China. That is why China is outraged, when India is “loved” by Russia more than China, at least in the field of defense cooperation.