The Emerging China, Pakistan, and Russia Strategic Triangle: India’s New Gordian Knot

Publication Date01 June 2017
Date01 June 2017
DOI10.1177/0973598417712873
AuthorParvaiz Ahmad Thoker,Bawa Singh
SubjectArticles
Article
1
PhD Research Scholar, Centre for South and Central Asian Studies, School of Global
Relations, Central University of Punjab, India.
2
Assistant Professor, Centre for South and Central Asian Studies, School of Global
Relations, Central University of Punjab, India.
Corresponding author:
Parvaiz Ahmad Thoker, PhD Research Scholar, Centre for South and Central Asian Studies,
School of Global Relations, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda 151001, Punjab, India.
E-mail: parvaizpulwama@gmail.com
The Emerging China,
Pakistan, and Russia
Strategic Triangle:
India’s New Gordian
Knot
Parvaiz Ahmad Thoker1
Bawa Singh2
Abstract
The primary cause for the emerging triple axis including China, Russia,
and Pakistan in South Asia has been to curtail the Indo-US extended
political, economic, and military connections. India in the post-Cold
War era tilted significantly toward the West, the move which has been
equally ostracized by the triumvirate. Hence, in reprisal, Russia’s recent
rapprochement with the duo further solidified the Sino-Pak geostrategic
bond. India’s wide-ranging collaboration with the US, primarily in the
post-civil nuclear deal, led to the budding fusion of three atomic powers.
Under such circumstances, the region has been enticing the major global
powers and latterly various extra-regional players exhibited profound
interests in the entire South Asia. Therefore, under the formation of
power blocks, a new geopolitical great game has been emerging in the
region. India, the leading South Asian player, therefore, has been facing an
extremely problematic situation while making a balancing choice amongst
Article
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
21(1) 61–83
2017 Jadavpur University
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0973598417712873
http://jnr.sagepub.com
62 Jadavpur Journal of International Relations 21(1)
the two hostile powers, China and the US. Against this backdrop, the
study will primarily focus on the rise of South Asian Triple Axis and its
possible consequences upon the rising Indo-US strategic leverage.
Keywords
Sino-Pak all-weather friendship, triple axis, new power politics game,
shifting South Asian order
Introduction
The twenty-first century in world affairs has witnessed the formation of
many geostrategic alliances. In this regard, the global focus has diverted
from the West to the East in which the Asian continent occupies a pivotal
place. No doubt, the current century has been extensively labeled as an
Asian Century, given the rising geoeconomic vitality of the entire continent.
As we all are well acquainted, the Asian continent has several geostrategic
subdivisions. Similarly, the South Asian region, with India as one of the
rising economic giants, has a major role to play in realizing the Asian Century
dream. Simultaneously, the major power politics game has entrapped the
entire South Asian region. China along with Pakistan and Russia has been in
the process of alliance formation against the Indo-US maneuvers.
More than six decades old Sino-Pak all-weather friendship has been
an exemplar for the global nations. Amongst the Muslim world, Pakistan
was the first country to recognize People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Afterwards, Sino-Pak bilateral diplomatic connections were established
with constant official visits from both sides. Geoeconomically, China
considered Pakistan vital to get connected with resource-rich Central
Asian region. Besides, China has been also involved in Pakistan through
various economically viable projects and initiatives such as China–
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), One Belt One Road (OBOR),
and Gwadar Port. Therefore, in terms of geostrategic perceptions, both
the nations are interdependent. China has been playing a pivotal role in
stabilizing Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan, on the other hand, exclusively
supports China in realizing diverse Sino-centered economic missions,
both within as well as beyond the region. In fact, the Sino-Pak all-weather
friendship has been recurrently centered on mutual trust and, therefore,
often termed as ‘Taller than Mountains and Deeper than Oceans’.1
In recent times, a new paradigmatic shift in South Asian order has been
perceived with Russia’s extra tilt toward China and Pakistan. Russia has
made a significant outreach toward the subcontinent primarily to denounce

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