Does the Russia-Ukraine conflict affect the “Indo-Pacific strategy”?

Russia-Ukraine conflict sparks U.S.-India confrontation

  After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, the United States and India clashed over the Russian issue. India not only does not condemn and sanction Russia, but also buys Russian oil madly. Data from mid-April this year showed that India has imported 13 million barrels of oil from Russia this year. In this regard, US President Biden named India’s position as “unreliable”.
  On April 11, 2022, US President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video meeting. Both sides claimed to have had a “frank dialogue”, but on the issue of India’s purchase of Russian energy, Biden and Modi maintained a subtle surface harmony: Biden did not “demand” Modi, and Modi did not make commitments.
  At the US-India “2+2” meeting held on the same day, the US side put pressure on India again, while exaggerating the “China-Russia threat theory”. U.S. Defense Secretary Austin called for strengthening U.S.-India defense relations, claiming that the two countries face “imminent challenges” from China and Russia in the Indo-Pacific region. However, India has not given up on the US demand to buy less energy from Russia. Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar said at a press conference after the meeting that the United States had made the wrong focus on the Russian energy issue, and the focus should be on Europe, not India. He said: “Our (India) total purchases this month may be less than Europe’s purchases in one afternoon.”
  It is worth noting that the US media’s attitude towards India has turned sharply due to the setback of “winning” India. The US media, represented by Bloomberg, published an article on April 11, expressing dissatisfaction and warnings about India’s “pro-Russian”, and also using Huawei to print. The article said: “Too close to Russia will be backfired. Do you understand Washington’s power? China’s ill-fated technology giants are a lesson…”
  On April 11, Indian Defense Minister Singh accepted an exclusive interview with the “Hindustan Times”, in Answering the question “The United States is disturbed by India’s position on the Ukrainian crisis”, he said that India and the United States have common interests in the Indo-Pacific region, “there is no disagreement”, and the two countries will fully cooperate in relevant aspects. He said: “I don’t think Russia will affect India-US relations. The US knows that Russia and India are natural allies and that Russia-India relations are very stable. India will also be very careful to ensure the core national interests of the United States, as well as India and the world. The relationship of any other country is not affected by the relationship between Russia and India.” He added: “I do not agree that there will be any problems with our national security. India is not a weak country. India has the strength to ensure that problems are solved when they arise.”
India will negatively affect the “Indo-Pacific strategy”

  Since the United States implemented the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” aimed at suppressing and containing China and containing Russia, it has continuously increased its efforts to win over India, and made full use of India’s power to form alliances in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure US hegemony.
  In response to the US “Indo-Pacific strategy”, India will not blindly support it through comprehensive strategic calculations, but will dilute its participation in the quadrilateral mechanism and activities within the framework of the “Indo-Pacific strategy”. This is mainly due to the following points:
  First, in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, India sees clearly the nature of the United States’ willingness to harm the interests of its allies and partners in pursuit of its own interests. Indian decision-makers and elites believe that Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine is largely attributable to the United States. The main strategic intention of the United States is to use Ukraine to fight proxy wars and to divide relations between European countries (especially Germany, France and Germany). relations with Russia), weakening the EU’s strategic autonomy and intensifying the Russian-phobia and hatred of European countries. Under pressure from the United States, the European Union banned the purchase of Russian oil, natural gas and other energy sources, causing oil, natural gas and electricity prices to soar. The lives of EU people are deeply affected, and EU governments are under heavy pressure. India has a clear understanding of the motive and impact of the U.S. “confrontation” of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The lessons learned from the past reminded India of the fact that the “Indo-Pacific region” followed the United States, and thus cautiously dealt with the “wooing” of the United States.
  Second, India continues to seek strategic autonomy and implement a non-aligned policy, and does not want to be a pawn of the United States. Faced with the fact that the United States has repeatedly used economic, technological and security cooperation as bait to woo India to participate in activities within the quadrilateral mechanism and the “Indo-Pacific strategy”, Indian policymakers and most elites are based on the deep-rooted mainstream Indian culture and more than 100 years of colonial rule. Lessons, respond with pragmatic strategies and tactics, while trying to obtain the economic, technological and security benefits that the United States, Japan, and Australia may provide, at the same time, have a skeptical attitude towards the United States and other Western countries and strive to strive for participation in the quadrilateral mechanism and Indo-Pacific affairs. strategic autonomy. The most typical evidence is that Indian officials have been avoiding the “Indo-Pacific strategy”. In its “National Security Strategy” report released in March 2019, India clearly stated that the purpose of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” launched by the United States is to “contain China in East Asia and Southeast Asia”, and that India must “maintain engagement with China” in order to “achieve Safe Neighborhood Target”. On January 15, 2022, India insisted on adding the word “inclusive” to the Joint Statement of the Fourth Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the United States, Japan, India and Australia issued in Melbourne, Australia, to show India’s strategic autonomy and “Inclusive” means “inclusive” of all countries in the region, but the Biden administration’s report on the “U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy” released on February 11, 2022 did not include the word “inclusive”, only declaring that “the United States is committed to building a free, open, interconnected , a prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region”.

  Indian elites are well aware that although India has land border disputes with China, moderate participation in the quadrilateral mechanism and some activities within the framework of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” can enable India to gain economic, technological and security interests, and may even take advantage of the United States, Japan, Australia They have the power to put pressure on China to resolve the territorial disputes between India and China and allow China to persuade Pakistan to make some concessions to India, but they also know that India’s excessive support for the “Indo-Pacific strategy” is harmful to India-China relations.
  Thirdly, the traditional friendship between India and Russia and the overlapping interests of the two countries determine that India does not want to harm its own interests by actively participating in the “Indo-Pacific Strategy”. India-Russia relations have always been very good. Among them, military-technical cooperation is the concentrated expression of India-Russia “special strategic partnership”. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, India withstood the strong pressure of the United States. Instead of condemning and sanctioning Russia, India doubled its purchase of Russian oil and discussed restarting the rupee-ruble payment mechanism. Modi and Jaishankar also met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on April 1, 2022. On April 16, Indian Defense Minister Singh declared in his speech in San Francisco, USA: India has become a “powerful country” and will rank among the three largest economies in the world, with the potential to lead the world; India has never followed the diplomatic path.” Zero-sum principle; India develops relations with one country without sacrificing relations with other countries.
  It can be seen that for a period of time in the future, India will still maintain a strategic balance in the serious confrontation between the United States and Russia, adhere to the principle of “India’s interests first”, emphasize the pursuit of “independent foreign policy”, and is unlikely to overly support the United States’ “” Indo-Pacific Strategy”. This will negatively affect the implementation of the US “Indo-Pacific strategy” to a certain extent.
Strategic Design and Prospects of the United States

  In the foreseeable time, the United States will implement its “Indo-Pacific strategy” according to the changes in the world security environment after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as the strategic game between the United States, China, Russia and Europe.
  The implementation of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” by the United States cannot do without India. On February 11, 2022, a senior U.S. official said during a telephone briefing hours before the release of the U.S. National Security Council’s “U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy” report that India is “a key strategic partner” of the United States and that “we are very clear. It underscores the role the past four administrations have played in advancing U.S. engagement with India, improving and strengthening the U.S.-India partnership.”
  However, the implementation of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” faces internal and external constraints. First, the United States will accelerate the “trilateral security partnership” between the United States, Britain and Australia. The common motivation of the decision makers of the United States, Britain and Australia is to use the power of the three countries to respond to China’s “imminent challenges” to the United States, Britain and Australia and the “systemic challenges” to NATO in the near future. The current “Trilateral Security Partnership” plans to deepen into an Anglo-Saxon (or English-speaking) treaty-type “Indo-Pacific Alliance” (“Indo-Pacific NATO”), followed by a NATO model that combines Canada and New Zealand Incorporated into the “Indo-Pacific Alliance”, and then absorbed Japan and other countries into the alliance, and then successively developed India, South Korea and other countries into partner countries of the “Indo-Pacific Alliance”. At that time, the “Indo-Pacific Alliance”, an exclusive and offensive military and political alliance, will echo with NATO, comprehensively contain China, and form an east-west strategic attack on Russia, enabling the US and Western allies to defeat China, Russia and other “strategic competitors”.
  Second, the US government may partially achieve the goals of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy”, but the ultimate goal is difficult to achieve. The Biden administration put forward five major policy goals for the next 10 years in the public version of the “U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy” report: to promote freedom and openness; to build collective capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region; to promote common prosperity; to promote Indo-Pacific security; and to build regional resilience. In order to achieve the above goals, the Biden administration has proposed 9 major sub-goals in the next one or two years (that is, during the term of this administration): develop new resources in the Indo-Pacific region; activate the Indo-Pacific economic framework; Cooperation in the Trilateral Security Partnership); support India’s continued rise and regional leadership; tap the great potential of the quadrilateral mechanism and deliver on its commitments; strengthen cooperation with Pacific island nations; develop U.S.-Japan-South Korea cooperation; support good governance and accountability ; Promote open, resilient, secure, and trustworthy technologies.