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Russia’s National Interests in Asia

The foreign policy of the Russian Federation in Asia is projected through multiple vectors because its interests are as varied as a region that extends from Iran to New Zealand.

Asia is a large and diverse continent, which is crossed by disparate inclinations and divergences and which is very complex, given that it has gone through convoluted turbulence throughout its history.

Unfortunately, the United States (USA) has decided to add to this panorama the confrontation and controversies that it has focused on Asia.

Currently, the US is pursuing a dual deterrence policy towards Russia and China and is forcing many Asian countries to join it in this effort.

The US is obsessed with aggressively building military alliances in Asia , as has been the case of the QUAD – Quadrilateral Security Dialogue , in English, which brings together Australia, India and Japan, in addition to the US. of AUKUS -acronym, in English, of the initials of Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom-.

Furthermore, the US has not abandoned the ambition to realize the absurdity of extending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Asia, whose contours lie far from the Atlantic Ocean, or, even worse, of creating a NATO for Asia .

China and Russia , for all of the above, see the US as a fundamental source of security threats to Asia .

Beijing and Moscow continue to consider, on the contrary, that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) , in English, that is, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – should be the main security provider in Asia.

Likewise, China and Russia believe that ASEAN has to maintain its role as the leading Asian organization in terms of regional economic and trade cooperation – whether in food, fertilizers or energy products.

However, two geopolitical phenomena of regional significance and global impact have occurred in Asia during the last year and a half.

India , on the one hand, has achieved food and energy self-sufficiency thanks to the exponential increase in its bilateral trade with Russia .

Relations between Beijing and Moscow have , on the other hand, reached an unprecedented level , if the one they had in the 1950s of the last century is excluded, although in a different context and nature.

China and Russia have reached a level of mutual strategic interdependence unknown until now , which has been helped by the fact that the two countries share 4,179 km. land border, the fifth longest in the world.

Thus, each of the two countries, in the event of a conflict with the US, would be the largest rearguard for the other and, in the economic field, is the main logistical partner of the other.

Shoigu (L), General Zhang (R), Beijing, October 19, 2018.

China strategically depends on the strengths that Russia offers it, which has become, above all, its most important supplier of gas and oil, through a dense and complex layout of oil and gas pipelines that connect the two. countries.

If, in 2018, Russia needed Europe and China, the US much more than both depended on each other, in 2023, the situation has changed dramatically and the strategic interdependence between Moscow and Beijing is indisputable .

This new reality is unknown territory for the two powers and is not absent of latent or potential risks, since it is subject to the future evolution of the levels of trust between the two nations.

Russia should develop a strategy to chart the desired course of its relationship with China in the coming years , beyond the impulse and urgency that the confrontation of both with the United States has imposed on them, either in Ukraine or in Taiwan.

Likewise, Russia would have to diversify its relations with other Asian countries , beyond the special relations it has built with China and India since February 2022.

Source : ABC Blogs