20 Jan Geopolitics of Eurasia for India
Geopolitics of Eurasia for India
This article covers “Daily current Affairs for UPSC” and the topic is” Eurasia and the current geopolitical situation” which is in the news, it covers the “International relationship” In GS-2, and the following content has relevance for UPSC.
For Prelims: Russia-Ukraine, NATO, QUAD, AUKUS
For Mains: GS-2, India, and new Eurasia and geopolitical situations
Why in the news:
As 2023 gets underway, the world is embracing a “new normal” in which ancient and new fault lines in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific are being rearranged.
- Eurasia as a concept is not new. Many people used it as a descriptor that was both neutral and a large land mass that united Europe and Asia.
- Despite geographical continuity, over the centuries, Europe and Asia developed into distinct political and cultural realms.
- Eurasia is a tectonic plate that geographically underlies much of Europe and Asia. There is no universal agreement on what the territory’s political borders are, though, and this is a problem for the region.
Approach of Russia
Although it struggled to integrate into either, Russia regarded itself as a force in both Europe and Asia. As new geopolitical conceptions, it created “Eurasia” and “Greater Eurasia.” Putin sees it as his historic mission to bring the “Russkiy Mir,” or the Russian world, back together, which led to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and the takeover of Crimea. Despite the significant expenditures of the scheme, he was adamant that he would pursue it.
Changes Associated with the New Eurasia
- Japan: The country is adamant about forming reliable military alliances with Europe. the prime minister of Japan made a straightforward statement: “The security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific is indivisible.” Japan will also develop a substantial missile arsenal to intimidate China (and North Korea, whose missile capabilities have grown).
- US: The NATO summit in Madrid in June invited important Asian partners to join at the US’s request. Along with the president of South Korea, the summit was attended by the prime ministers of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Asian leaders are taking part in NATO discussions for the first time. Eurasian geopolitics will continue to be characterized by new elements, such as NATO’s engagement with Indo-Pacific challenges and East Asia’s engagement with European security. The Biden Administration expressed its intention for its allies and partners in Europe and Asia to cooperate more with one another in its National Security Strategy, which was published in 2022. It is eager to support the advancement of its allies, particularly India, in their efforts to bolster the regional power structures in both Europe and Asia.
- South Korea is increasing its visibility in Europe to join the party as well. It sells significant weapon platforms in Poland.
- Australia: Equally eager to include Europe in the Indo-Pacific is Australia, which has joined the US and UK in the AUKUS agreement.
Russia and China’s cooperation: The geopolitical landscape in Eurasia was changed by China and Russia before Japan and South Korea went to Europe.
Putin traveled to Beijing in February 2022 to sign a document that declared an alliance “without limits” and no “forbidden zones” just days before he gave the order for his army to invade Ukraine.
Together, Putin and Xi revealed a Eurasian alliance in the hopes that it would be the long-awaited final blow to Western hegemony.
Eurasia’s importance to India
- Resources: The Eurasian region is abundant in natural resources, particularly energy resources, which are distinguished by large production and exports. India’s interests must be protected through economic cooperation with these nations. In terms of energy (oil, natural gas), and natural resources, the Eurasian states are potential long-term allies (that include uranium and iron ore).
- Pharmaceutical: The medical and pharmaceutical industries also present a great deal of room for collaboration. By establishing public hospitals and clinics in Eurasia, India is prepared to increase cooperation. India is planning to create a Central Asian e-network with India as its core to provide connectivity for tele-education and telemedicine, connecting all five Central Asian States.
- Industry of construction: Indian firms can demonstrate their skill in the field and develop constructions of the highest caliber at affordable prices. Iron ore, coal, and inexpensive power are all found in almost endless quantities in Central Asian nations, particularly Kazakhstan. India can assist in building several medium-sized steel rolling mills that will produce the specialized goods it needs.
- Economic benefits: Eurasia’s strategic peninsular location connecting several subregions of Asia and West Asia makes it vital for India’s goal of becoming an economic hub. Recent programs like Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India may very well help with this. If India integrates economically with other regions of Asia, it may also be used as a tool to take advantage of the demographic dividend in India.
- Strategic importance: Strategically, the Eurasian region wants to become less dependent on both Beijing and Moscow. In light of this, they are ready to assist India in its efforts to improve its standing in the area and offer a viable alternative to the established actors Russia, China, the EU, and the US. A qualitative improvement in India’s relations with the Eurasian states is made possible by the simultaneous implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and Russia’s confrontation with the West.
- Tourism: India is a developing tourist destination. Eurasia is crucial for attracting tourists from the continent. To draw more tourists, India should build beaches and luxury accommodations.
Way India expands its influence
- Provide regular and frequent shipping connections between Chabahar and the Indian ports of Mundra, Kandla, and Mumbai.
- Support the planned joint Afghan-Uzbek project to extend the 700 km long railway line from Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat, which would go through western Afghanistan. All of Central Asia, including Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, would be connected to the Chabahar route via western Afghanistan if this project were to succeed.
- In order to position Chabahar as a crossing point between Eurasia and the Indian Ocean, India has to enlist the aid of one or more Central Asian nations, especially Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
- The SCO framework might potentially be used to promote connectivity cooperation with these nations.
- Without necessarily engaging in direct conflict or rivalry with China’s BRI, India should forward its connectivity strategy for Eurasia. India may undoubtedly benefit from assistance in moving toward Eurasian integration with Russia, Iran, and Central Asian nations.
- To link to the Far East and even Japan, India should work to join Russia’s “Greater Eurasian” corridor and the Northeast Passage in addition to INSTC and Chabahar Port.
- The rise 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 possible.
- 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.
- The cloud cast over India’s continental strategy will therefore get deeper in the days to come due to the growing security threats from China along its Himalayan border and the strengthening of relations between Moscow and Beijing. Positively, there have never been more opportunities to bolster India’s strategic capabilities through alliances with the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Delhi must now seize the opportunities that are opening up.
- India must exert the same effort toward the creation of a “Eurasian” policy that Japan and South Korea do. India’s continental strategy needs to be reevaluated about Eurasia, while the Indo-Pacific is about Delhi’s new marine geopolitics.
- India has dealt with each of Eurasia’s constituent regions separately over the years, but Delhi now needs a coordinated strategy to gain a firm presence in the region.
- India will undoubtedly run into many conflicts along the way with the US, Europe, Russia, China, Iran, and the Arab Gulf, but it shouldn’t let these conflicts stop it from progressing.
- Increased strategic action in Eurasia that creates opportunities in all directions is the key for India.
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