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Debunking Bloomberg: Biden’s Afghan Withdrawal Isn’t A Blow To China

20 APRIL 2021

Debunking Bloomberg: Biden

It was hyperbole for Ghosh to claim that ‘Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal Is A Blow To China’. It might only be so in the worst-case scenario, which is far from certain.

Bloomberg published an op-ed last week provocatively claiming that “Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal Is A Blow To China”. Opinion columnist Bobby Ghosh argues that the country might soon slip back into an all-out civil war that would not only disrupt China’s connectivity interests in the country, but also spill over to threaten the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In addition, he predicts that Afghanistan will become “a sanctuary for jihadists of every stripe — some of whom will undoubtedly direct their attention to that very short, mountainous and porous border with China.”

This line of thinking is typical of what many in the Western mainstream media are saying. They were against former US President Donald Trump’s deal with the Taliban last year and subsequent promise to complete his country’s military withdrawal by the beginning of next month. His successor, US President Joe Biden, will instead initiate the full withdrawal by that date and complete it before the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some establishment voices fear that this will create strategic opportunities for China and the US’ other so-called peer competitors like Russia to exploit for zero-sum ends against American interests.

In reality, however, it’s in everyone’s interests that the US completes its promised withdrawal from Afghanistan as soon as possible. America has spent trillions of dollars there without much of anything to show for it. It’s true that Afghanistan now has a governing system comparatively closer (key word) to Western democracy than before and that woman now enjoy greater rights, but the Taliban still controls large swathes of the country and ISIS’ entry to the battlefield in 2014 immensely complicated the anti-terrorist situation there. Indefinitely continuing the US’ occupation of Afghanistan would only make matters much worse without solving anything.

By boldly agreeing to withdraw from the country and clearly articulating the strategic reasons behind this decision in his national speech on Wednesday, President Biden concluded that it’s better to cut America’s losses and simply move on even though the victimized Afghan people won’t be able to move past this twenty-year dark chapter of their national history so easily. In any case, their future is arguably brighter than before, not dimmer. The completion of the US’ withdrawal will unlock promising socio-economic opportunities for Afghanistan provided that their leadership and local stakeholders have the political will to support them.

To explain, it’s precisely because of China that this is possible. Afghanistan’s geostrategic location in the center of the tri-regional Central-South-West Asian space affords it enormous potential for connecting these three massive markets through BRI. In particular, CPEC’s de facto expansion into Afghanistan via the recently agreed Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway will complement existing rail connectivity with China via the Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The Chinese-Iranian Strategic Partnership deal also creates the chance of further expanding this connectivity network to West Asia with time via W-CPEC+.

Domestically, the Afghan economy would require extensive reconstruction, but its reported $3 trillion worth of minerals – including some rare earth ones – could ideally be extracted in the most responsible way possible to ensure the equitable distribution of this wealth to every citizen. Coupled with grants and low-interest no-strings-attached loans from partner states like China and others, the Afghan people actually stand a very credible chance of succeeding in the future so long as their country can avert the all-out civil war that Ghosh fears might soon erupt.

That worst-case scenario is plausible, but nevertheless not inevitable. The Taliban, despite being designated as terrorists, have recently proven themselves to be shrewd diplomats on the international stage during multiple rounds of peace talks over the past few years. They seem to have understand the pragmatism of facilitating such connectivity and extractive projects for the purpose of improving their citizens’ living standards. Should they enter into the planned inclusive transitional government that’s been proposed, then they’ll probably not do anything to threaten those projects since they’ll too have a stake in their success.

Considering all of this, it was hyperbole for Ghosh to claim that “Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal Is A Blow To China”. It might only be so in the worst-case scenario, which is far from certain. What’s much more likely is that the existing low-intensity conflict continues but doesn’t reach catastrophic proportions. Instead, with the Taliban possibly becoming part of the Afghan government, the international community might remove their terrorist designation and accept them as equal stakeholders in Afghanistan’s future socio-economic success, a large part of which will be due to mutually beneficial cooperation with China.


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India Is Wrong To Blame The IRGC For Late January’s Attempted Terrorist Attack

10 MARCH 2021

India Is Wrong To Blame The IRGC For Late January

India knows that it’s being lied to by the US, “Israel”, and/or Saudi Arabia but is still going along with them anyhow because it naively expects to gain something in return.

Russia’s publicly financed international media outlet Sputnik published a piece on Monday titled “‘Asymmetric Warfare’: India’s Anti-Terror Unit Claims Iran’s Quds Force Behind Israeli Embassy Blast”. The article quotes an unnamed senior official at India’s National Investigative Agency who blames the IRGC for the non-lethal blast that occurred in the country’s capital in late January. Instinctively sensing a false flag attack, I immediately shared my concerns about this previously unconfirmed narrative that was bandied about at the time by Indian and “Israeli” officials in an analysis that I wrote for Pakistan’s Express Tribune asking “Did Iran Really Carry Out An Attempted Anti-Israeli Terrorist Attack In India?

Iran’s official response to these latest official Indian allegations was reported by Sputnik in its follow-up piece titled “‘Sinister Intentions of Enemies’: Iran Slams Report Claiming IRGC Behind Israel Embassy Blast”. That article quotes the statement released by the Iranian Embassy in India which suggests that “third parties who are angry and dissatisfied with the progress in the relations between the governments of Iran and India” were responsible for what happened. This conforms to my previous speculation that the incident was really a false flag attack that tried too hard to implicate Iran. The question naturally becomes one of who would have the interests and means to carry it out.

Pakistan can be safely excluded from the list of suspects because India would have already blamed it if there was even a shred of evidence that could be spun as implicating Islamabad’s involvement. The very fact that this didn’t happen speaks to the unquestionable absence of such evidence. Instead, the unnamed Indian official is quoted by Sputnik as saying that the investigation initially “hinted to the role of Islamic State” but that New Delhi eventually determined that the IRGC was really the true culprit. India could have stuck to the ISIS theory in order to avoid further complicating its increasingly complex relations with Iran but ultimately decided to pin the blame on the Islamic Republic, which advanced American, “Israeli”, and Saudi strategic interests.

Those three are therefore the most likely suspects, whether individually, in tandem, or altogether. It can only be speculated how one, some, or all three of them conspired to carry out that attempted attack, but there aren’t any other parties with both the interests and means. Even so, one must ask themselves why India would allow itself to be so obviously manipulated in such a crude manner by going along with the manufactured narrative that Iran was allegedly responsible. New Delhi knows that its statement risks worsening ties with Tehran, but it went ahead with it anyhow. This curiously coincides with new regional strategic developments that might explain the political calculations behind India’s decision.

Uzbekistan, the most populous state in Central Asia and the one with the most promising real-sector (i.e. non-energy) economic prospects, recently opted to go with Pakistan’s N-CPEC+ for connecting to the Indian Ocean instead of the eastern branch of the Indo-Iranian North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC). I wrote about this in my recent analysis for the Express Tribune which informed everyone “Why This Summer’s Central Asia-South Asia Connectivity Conference Will Be Crucial”. I explained that the agreement late last year to pioneer a railway between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan (tentatively described by me as the PAKAFUZ project after the first letters of each country’s name) makes the NSTC redundant, thereby basically dealing a deathblow to it.

With this observation in mind, India might have calculated that it had nothing more to lose by going with the flow and publicly blaming the IRGC for late January’s attempted terrorist attack in New Delhi. If anything, doing so might have been expected to improve India’s standing in the eyes of its new American, “Israeli”, and Saudi allies. Iran has no means to “punish” India for its provocative allegation since the South Asian state no longer purchases the Islamic Republic’s energy resources like before due to its fear of being targeted by the US’ so-called “secondary sanctions”, and the PAKAFUZ project pretty much put an end to the economic viability of the NSTC’s eastern branch.

These factors help explain why India publicly accused the IRGC of being responsible for that attempted terrorist attack. Even so, India is wrong to have blamed Iran because it knows better than to believe that the Islamic Republic was truly responsible. This experience shows just how much of its supposedly cherished strategic autonomy India has surrendered to its new American, “Israeli”, and Saudi allies in recent years that it now unashamedly blames Iran for supposedly committing out an act of terrorism on its soil despite there being no compelling evidence to prove this. India knows that it’s being lied to by the US, “Israel”, and/or Saudi Arabia but is still going along with them anyhow because it naively expects to gain something in return.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: India, Iran, Pakistan, US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Terrorism, NSTC, CPEC, CPEC+, N-CPEC+, PAKAFUZ.


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America’s Following In Russia’s Diplomatic Footsteps In Afghanistan

9 MARCH 2021

America

US Special Afghan Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s new approach to resolving the War on Afghanistan follows in Russia’s diplomatic footsteps by encouraging the creation of an inclusive government between Kabul and the Taliban and including India as an official party to the international talks on this topic, though it also innovates upon Moscow’s proposed solution by suggesting that Turkey host such negotiations in the coming future.

Late last month President Putin’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov made headlines after proposing the creation of an inclusive transitional coalition government in Afghanistan between Kabul and the Taliban, yet the US is now officially following in Moscow’s diplomatic footsteps after its own Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad gave a letter from Secretary of State Blinken to the country’s top political leaders suggesting the same solution. I explained the Russian approach at length in my analysis at the time about “How Russia’s Special Afghan Envoy Wants To Save The Struggling Peace Process”, which should be reviewed by the reader in order to obtain a more solid understanding of the Great Power’s evolving position towards the conflict. As for the US, it seems to have realized that this outcome is inevitable and therefore decided to take the wind out of Russia’s diplomatic sails to an extent by attempting to take leadership of this political process. In addition, America is following Russia’s lead by including India as an official party to the international talks on this topic while innovating upon its proposed solution by suggesting that Turkey host such negotiations in the coming future.

New Delhi was already invited to participate in the Moscow peace process, but that round of talks couldn’t ever be as important as anything that Washington leads by simple virtue of the fact that America retains the largest foreign military force in Afghanistan. Although the US observed the talks in the Russian capital, it didn’t actively participate in them, though it seemingly learned enough to realize that it’s in the country’s grand strategic interests to ensure that India isn’t excluded from the latest round that it wants Turkey to host. This can be explained by the US’ efforts to continue courting India to its side against China in the New Cold War, which is all the more urgent for it after New Delhi and Beijing agreed to a synchronized de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last month. In my analysis at the time about “How India’s Regional Strategy Is Adapting To The Post-Trump Reality”, I attributed it to New Delhi’s uncertainty over Washington’s envisioned geostrategic role for it under the Biden Administration due to concerns about the impact of a possible US-Chinese detente and repeated threats to sanction the South Asian state over its decision to purchase Russia’s S-400 systems.

The diplomatic elephant in the room is unquestionably the global pivot state of Pakistan, whose consistently pragmatic approach to resolving the conflict by including the Taliban as a legitimate political party to the conflict’s solution (in spite of its official designation as a terrorist group by countries like the US and Russia) ultimately ended up being supported by everyone except India and Iran, both of which have a history of serious problems with the group. Nevertheless, those two are forced by diplomatic inertia to go along with events whether they like it or not, though the US doesn’t want them to feel left out of the process because it fears the political consequences that this impression could have on India’s anti-Chinese Quad activities and the recent push to revive the Iranian nuclear deal. Washington also knows how sensitive New Delhi and Tehran are towards the optics of Islamabad being right all along and even influencing Moscow of all parties to go along with its consistently pragmatic approach to resolving this conflict. There are also more indirect motives at play too which concern the Central Asian strategy that the Biden Administration inherited from Trump.

I analyzed this last year in my piece about how “The US’ Central Asian Strategy Isn’t Sinister, But That Doesn’t Mean It’ll Succeed” where I explained how America is exploring the option of “economic diplomacy” to ensure its post-withdrawal influence in the Eurasian Heartland. Not only does it aspire to use N-CPEC+ as a means for enhancing its role in the region, but it also hopes that the eastern branch of India’s North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) through Iran to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics can result in New Delhi counterbalancing Moscow’s and Beijing’s influence there afterwards. This explains why the US has always granted a sanctions waiving to India for its Chabahar port project. It also adds a new strategic dimension to Blinken’s written announcement that Turkey will hold Afghan talks in the coming future. Washington has an interest in seeing the Lapis Lazuli Corridor from Afghanistan to the EU via Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Turkey be completed in order to expand Turkish and European influence in this same space for geostrategic “balancing” purposes.

To be absolutely, neither Pakistan, India, Iran, nor Turkey have any intentions of expanding their influence in Central Asia via their respective “economic diplomacy” initiatives of N-CPEC+, the NSTC’s eastern branch, and the Lapis Lazuli Corridor in any “unfriendly” manner that goes against Russian and/or Chinese strategic objectives there, but the inevitable cumulative effect of more countries getting involved in the Eurasian Heartland will ultimately result in a greater “balance” of interests there. All relevant parties with the exception of India support the Golden Ring proposal that I elaborated on in my March 2018 analysis, “From ‘Bandwagoning’ Against Eurasia To ‘Circling The Wagons’ In The Center Of It”, but this ambitious vision of course requires very close coordination between each stakeholder which might still take some time to materialize. In the interim, the US hopes that it can encourage “emerging dynamics” of “natural (albeit ‘friendly’) competition” to take hold and therefore offset this scenario, especially relating to the exploitation of mutual strategic suspicions between China & India, and perhaps even to a lesser extent, Iran & Turkey.

It’ll be really interesting for observers to watch how America’s latest diplomatic initiatives in Afghanistan play out, particularly its push to include the Taliban in an inclusive government as well as the US’ encouragement of greater Indian and Turkish roles in this overall process, but it mustn’t be forgotten that Washington is basically following in Moscow’s footsteps when it comes to this political solution. It was Russia’s tacit embrace of Pakistan’s consistently pragmatic stance to include the Taliban as a legitimate party to the peace process despite its designation as a terrorist organization that inspired the US to change its position in response, as well as Moscow’s support of New Delhi’s involvement in all of this. The Turkish element is a unique twist that wasn’t foreseen but nevertheless aligns with America’s envisioned “economic diplomacy” towards the post-war region. The ideal outcome would be the peaceful establishment of a joint Kabul-Taliban government (at least for the time being) in parallel with tangible progress being made on building the Golden Ring in such a way that India could play a constructive role in it too, but the actual outcome is likely to be a lot more complex than that.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Russia, Afghanistan, Taliban, India, Turkey, Kabul, Balancing, Central Asia, CPEC, CPEC+, N-CPEC+, Lapis Lazuli Corridor, NSTC, Iran, Economic Diplomacy.


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SOUTH ASIA:

PAKISTAN-CHINA:

  • Pakistan and China are embroiled in their most serious disagreement relating to the Belt and Road Initiative, causing the annual bilateral summit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to be delayed.

SOURCE: NIKKEI


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PAKISTAN:

  • Pakistan recently cleared a bill in Parliament that will virtually give the powerful army sweeping control over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Greater involvement of the army will serve to address China’s security concerns vis-a-vis Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan. Beijing is worried about terrorism in Balochistan, where separatists have stepped up attacks on Chinese targets in recent years.

SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA


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South Asia

SOUTH ASIA

  • PAKISTAN: China reaffirmed its support to Pakistan in fighting terrorist forces and stressed that any scheme to sabotage the building of an economic corridor linking the two countries will not succeed. Pakistani Foreign Minister said Indian intelligence agents were targeting development projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

SOURCE: CGTN

 

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South Asia

SOUTH ASIA

  • PAKISTAN: The resurgence of religious-cum-sectarian attacks in Pakistan has been taking place exactly as the CPEC has been revived in the country. Baloch militant groups have been carrying out attacks in Gwadar – the heart of the CPEC – and elsewhere in the country in order to show their opposition. The Chinese, with heavy investments in Pakistan, are concerned about the security situation. Militant groups have carried out attacks against Chinese workers and installations in the past.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

 

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Belt And Road Initiative

South Asia

SOUTH ASIA

  • PAKISTAN: Opposition party leaders launched a joint campaign to unseat Khan and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) authority chairman, following allegations of corruption against the last. May cause some disruption but is unlikely to derail the multibillion-dollar project, analysts say.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

 

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South Asia (Afghanistan)

SOUTH ASIA

  • AFGHANISTAN: China is willing to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan. The CPEC ($62 billion infrastructure development project, part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, aimed to connect China’s Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gawadar Port) is expected to be a game-changer in South Asia, according to some experts.

SOURCE: SOUTH ASIA MONITOR

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Is Russia Backtracking On BRI?

Is Russia Backtracking On BRI?

31 AUGUST 2020ELB_III
The critical assessment of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) last month by the influential Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies coupled with India’s eagerness all summer to court the Eurasian Great Power into joining its so-called “Indo-Pacific” projects have combined to create the impression that Russia might be backtracking on President Putin’s previously expressed intention last year to integrate his country’s Greater Eurasian Partnership with the New Silk Road.

Debunking The Dogma

The Alt-Media Community’s disparate members are united by their dogmatic belief that Russia and China are working closely with one another on all levels in order to advance their shared grand strategic interest of accelerating the emergence of the Multipolar World Order. This naturally presupposes that they’re continuing to make progress on President Putin’s previously expressed intention last year to integrate his country’s Greater Eurasian Partnership with the New Silk Road, but recent developments are creating the impression that Russia might actually be backtracking on China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). These are the critical assessment of BRI last month by the influential Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies and India’s eagerness all summer to court the Eurasian Great Power into joining its so-called “Indo-Pacific” projects. Upon analyzing the aforementioned more closely, it becomes clear that there’s some credence to that provocative claim which debunks the dogmatic belief of the Alt-Media Community.

Russia’s Critical Assessment Of BRI

About the first of these two developments, Alexey Maslovs Russian-language interview to Interfax should be Google Translated and read in full by anyone interested in learning more about Russia’s evolving views towards BRI. He was surprisingly candid for a Russian expert of his caliber in discussing the challenges inherent to this global series of megaprojects, as well as China’s grand strategic motivation in pursuing them in the first place. Maslov also implied some criticisms of it when sharing his assessment that China basically wants to take control of the global economy through these means, which also includes the use of so-called “debt traps”. Even more interestingly, he claimed that Russia isn’t a part of BRI contrary to conventional belief, but nevertheless seeks to pragmatically cooperate with it. Maslov then elaborated on why this is so, focusing on the problems related to their bilateral trade and investment relations. Altogether, his interview is extremely insightful and should be taken seriously due to the influence that he wields over Russian policy by view of his esteemed position.

The “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor”

The second development is less surprising since it’s been tracked for a while now, and that’s India’s eagerness to court Russia into joining its so-called “Indo-Pacific” projects. What was unexpected, however, was the spree of proposals that were made all summer. The first move came during the joint online conference between the Russian International Affairs Council and the Indian Council of World Affairs in mid-July. The Indian Ambassador to Russia encouraged his host country to work more closely with his homeland in this trans-oceanic sphere, provocatively drawing particular attention to safeguarding “international rules and law” in the South China Sea where both have invested in Vietnamese offshore energy deposits contested by China. A suggestion was also made to undertake joint projects in Asia and Africa, which hints at Russia joining the Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” (AAGC) like the author previously proposed. ThePrint.In reported in late July that the Indian Ambassador reiterated such cooperation proposals to Russian officials during that time.

India’s Military & Diplomatic Outreaches To Russia

India’s envisioned “Indo-Pacific” partnership with Russia isn’t just economic, but also carries with it very important military and diplomatic dimensions. The Economic Times reported in late July that the two countries might sign a LEMOA-like military logistics pact by the end of the year, the possible implications of which the author analyzed in December 2018 in his piece about how A Russian-Indian LEMOA Could Lead To Logistics Pacts With Other Littoral States. The other related development was Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla officially discussing “the proposal for a Russia-India-Japan trilateral mechanism with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Igor Morgulov, on August 4.” While the official purpose of such a structure would likely be presented as advancing Russia’s possible participation in the AAGC, there’s no doubt that it would be perceived in practice as a “passively aggressive” move by China considering the context of its ongoing rivalry with those two Asian Great Powers.

World War C & The “New Detente”

The reason why all of this is happening so fast is likely due to World War C, the author’s neologism for the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes unleashed across the world as a result of the international community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19. One of the most immediate consequences was that Russia and China began to look askance at one another, which the author elaborated upon in his analysis earlier this year titled Rare Wrinkle Or Growing Rift?: Russia & China Exchange Criticisms Over World War C. In connection with this, Russia also sought to make progress on its “New Detente” with the US (the author’s neologism for ultimately reaching a series of “compromises” on a wide range of international issues) through its counter-COVID aid to America and their joint efforts to revive OPEC+. Taken together, these two pressing influences might have contributed to Russia’s changed attitude towards BRI, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing or anything to be seriously concerned about so long as Moscow manages to keep up its 21st-century “balancing” act.

Russia’s “Balancing” Act Between China & India

The author has written extensively about Russia’s “balancing” act between China and India, but warned back in November in response to Russia’s perceived “tilt” at the time towards the latter that Improved Russian-Indian Ties Must Be Balanced With Improved Russian-Chinese Ones. Failure to do so would risk sparking a “strategic dilemma” with China, one which would be to both it and Russia’s detriment while definitely being to the decisive advantage of India and its new American patron. One unique proposal that the author made in a jointly authored academic article in May for the official journal of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) concerns The Prospects Of Russia And India Leading A New Non-Aligned Movement, though the subsequent Galwan Incident makes it unlikely that Moscow will make any tangible progress on this front for the foreseeable future out of fear of triggering the aforesaid “strategic dilemma”. In fact, it can be argued that agreeing to any of India’s recent proposals without committing to symmetrical Chinese ones would lead to the same outcome.

Breaking The “Balancing” Act?

Therein lies the challenge at the core of Russia’s grand strategy since it’s a lot easier to talk about “balancing” than actually doing it, let alone well enough to the point where neither party suspects the “balancing” state of ulterior motives. In the current context, if Russia joined the AAGC, agreed to a LEMOA-like pact with India, and/or participated in a trilateral mechanism alongside Japan, it might give rise to Chinese suspicions about Moscow’s true long-term intentions towards the People’s Republic. Under such circumstances, China would have no reason pay much attention to its prior plans of building the Eurasian Land Bridge through Russia en route to the EU since it already has several complementary corridors that it can rely on instead such as the “Polar Silk Road”, the Middle Corridor, and BRI’s flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its related branch routes that the author describes as CPEC+. That in turn could undermine Russia’s ongoing systemic economic transition away from energy exports and towards becoming an East-West bridge for trade.

The Strategic Importance Of Clear Communication

It’s difficult at this moment to predict whether Russia will agree to all of India’s proposals, and if it does, whether it would also commit to any symmetrical Chinese ones to “balance” them out. The latter could prospectively see it loudly reaffirming its involvement in BRI by also making progress on the Meridian Highway segment of the Eurasian Land Bridge, reaching a LEMOA-like agreement with China, and pioneering a G2 mechanism for coordinating their policies all across Eurasia. Regardless of what Russia ends up doing, it mustn’t forget the strategic importance of clear communication in expressing its intentions towards China and India. Some of the constructive criticisms that the author recently made about Russian strategy is that the country never articulated its “balancing” act and oftentimes takes its partners for granted, which is why it must proudly embrace “balancing” by explicitly making it the basis for its dealings with China and India as well as being open to “compromising” with each of them as regards their concerns about its ties with the other.

The Pakistani Solution

In his debut analysis for the Valdai Club about How Russia Can Lead Eurasia’s Consolidated Response To The Economic Crisis, the author proposed that the creation of a Russian-Pakistani trade corridor (“RuPak”) could help Moscow better manage its tricky “balancing” act with China and India. RuPak’s importance in this respect was explained at length in the author’s joint academic article about Pakistan’s Role In Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership that was published at the Russian International Affairs Council in June, which built upon his work the month prior about how Improved Russian-Pakistani Relations Will Help Moscow Balance The New Bipolaritybetween the US and China on the global level but also between China and India as regards their overlapping “spheres of influence” in Asia. As Russia begins to visibly backtrack on BRI due to World War C and the “New Detente” in parallel with seriously considering India’s economic, military, and diplomatic outreaches, it’s absolutely imperative that it retains its hard-earned goodwill with China, which it can do through RuPak.

Concluding Thoughts

After closely analyzing the drivers behind Russia’s newfound critical stance towards BRI as expressed by the influential director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies and its interest in possibly agreeing to India’s comprehensive outreaches over the summer, it begins to seem like Moscow isn’t backtracking on BRI as much as it’s clarifying the true relationship that it’s had all this time to this global series of megaprojects. President Putin’s “wishful thinking” for the future notwithstanding, it appears as though Russia’s involvement in China’s worldwide initiative wasn’t ever as extensive as the Alt-Media Community portrayed it as, which might understandably disappoint those countries’ supporters. Nevertheless, it’s important that everything is becoming much clearer nowadays since this recently revealed insight can assist analysts in better forecasting the course of their relations, as well as the next thrust of Russian foreign policy, which might potentially be towards Pakistan via RuPak in order to maintain Moscow’s tricky “balancing” act.

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American political analyst