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Russia and the Alliances of the New “Multipolar” World

Today the Times of London is running a piece titled “Bizarre Love Triangle” on the relations between India, China, and Russia. Excerpts:

For decades a powerful trio remained separated by political rivalries, border disputes and atavistic fears. But the meeting in Delhi yesterday of the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia underlined the extraordinary changes forging a powerful new geostrategic alliance. Together with Russia’s 143 million people, the world’s two most populous nations, each with more than a billion, account for about 40 per cent of the world’s population, a fifth of the global economy and more than half its nuclear warheads. The three are fast emerging as the world’s new great powers, dominating global manufacturing, energy supplies and, increasingly, the service sector. And as their societies grow richer and their global reach longer, their interest in asserting their collective economic and political strength becomes ever greater. … Yet for all their public emollience, the underlying message to Washington is clear: the three countries are challenging America’s status as the sole superpower, and want to build a “multipolar” world. This was reinforced by their emphasis on strengthening the United Nations, feeble as it is. India, China and Russia have far more in common with the US than they are generally prepared to concede, including their concerns about Islamic extremism, which will become an increasingly pressing issue for all three. … Washington should look with equanimity on this rapprochement. China and India have no intention of sacrificing links with America. Both may act as a moderating force on what seems to be the paranoid resentment coming from Moscow. Both can provide a stable framework for the rapid advance of the Asian region. And all three have a vital interest in securing a predictable trading environment, to enrich their impatient, populous and demanding audiences at home.