Weighing Quad against SCO

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Source– The post is based on the article “Weighing Quad against SCO” published in The Indian Express on 21th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- International Relations

Relevance– About India foreign policy

News-The article explains the India Indo-pacific policy. It also explains India having multiple alignment with all major powers to maintain its strategic autonomy.

What is Indo-pacific policy?

China’s aggression and expansionist policies are behind India’s Indo-Pacific stand.

Belt and Road initiative and growing Chinese presence in India neighborhood increased India apprehension.

PM Modi shared his vision of Indo-Pacific at Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore in June 2018. He claimed that it includes other nations also who are not part of this geography, but who have a stake in it.

In the initial stage India was not comfortable with the anti-Chinese stance of the USA.

Quad meetings were upgraded to ministerial level only after the Galwan attack in 2020.

What is the current foreign policy of India?

India continues to believe in plurilateralism. Along with Quad, it is also a member of SCO. It is also part of two trilaterals, India-Russia-China and India-USA-Japan.

It wants to engage with competing powers like USA, Russia, China at the same time. It supports the multipolar world.

India has reservations against past western hegemony and western dominated international order.

According to S. Jaishankar, the world’s norms are imposed by western powers. These norms, institutions and practices are responsible for western domination. These institutions needs to be dismantled.

BRICS partners share the same objective with India. They want to dismantle the world order shaped by multilateral institutions set up by western powers. China is challenging western hegemony by changing the narrative through its cultural heritage.

Why does Russia matter to India?
  • Dependence on Russia for military reasons. More than two-thirds of its weapon comes from Russia.
  • To balance China.

This is the reason for India ‘s participation in the Vostok military exercise.

What will decide the future course of India relations with the west?
  • Western sanctions will weaken Russia to such an extent that it will move closer to China. If Russia loses the Ukraine war, China will be the only major non-western power in the region.
  • Chinese foreign policy for India will also matter. If China continues to maintain its aggressive behavior against India, India will go closer to Quad than SCO.
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