India pulling out of the China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) after years of negotiation has sent a right message to expansionist China. One should not forget the US is trying to take India in its “embrace” as an ally to counter China, but New Delhi has “remained independent” and joined fora like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). India is also increasing its Eurasian footprint. Russia sees India’s proximity somewhat deviating from its past and time tested relations. Russia has stood with India in its thick and thin situations during the major crisis and its proximity has helped India to counter the growing China threat also. The US tries to use economic interdependence to undermine those who do not want to join the US-led forces. In case of India, to counter China, the US is trying to take it in embrace. But there is no evidence that India is keen on doing that. By joining the SCO, India has shown that it has remained independent. The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members. Russia’s foreign policy is not yet equipped like the West in terms of using soft power. Russia too is moving towards Asia Pacific and laid believes in good relations in the region and will cooperate with Beijing, not as an “ally” but as a partner and on its terms and conditions. There is also no proof to such changes that Moscow might put on par its long-standing dialogue with New Delhi and its only recently activated interaction with Islamabad. After all, Pakistan used to be a close ally of Soviet Union’s formidable Cold war foe and sponsored the Afghan Islamist Mujahideen, who were responsible for the deaths of many Russian soldiers in the country known as the “burial ground of empires.”
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