Chinese angry that Western countries are not paying heed

The growing alliance between China and Russia amid concerns that Moscow is coming under Beijing’s influence prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to choose Russia for his first bilateral visit. The two-day visit marked the resumption of the India-Russia annual summit after a gap of two years.

The visit has triggered intense debate in China’s strategic circles, which is closely tracking Modi’s visit. The scrutiny is not unexpected given China’s vital interests. Beijing relies heavily on Russia to counter the US-led Western alliance.

Different views are emerging in Moscow over Modi’s red-carpet treatment and his balancing act between the West and Russia. Chinese commentators are assessing Modi’s visit as a strategic use by New Delhi of its ties with Moscow to balance its ties with Beijing.

Scrutiny on India and Russia

In China, there is a prevailing perception that India considers the northern neighbour its primary adversary, which influences New Delhi’s approach towards Russia as well as the West. India will not completely sideline Russia while it continues to develop ties with major global powers. Chinese observers see this strategy as a diplomatic tact through which the Modi government seeks to establish India as a neutral player capable of playing the role of mediator in the Russia-Ukraine war.