General Studies Paper 2
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is looking beyond his country’s alliance with the U.S. to deter China, bolstering security ties with democracies from Australia to Europe.
- It is the largest continental area comprising more than 90 countries in Europe and Asia.
- Covering more than 30% of the world’s continental landmass.
- Many used it as a neutral term to describe the vast landmass that connected Europe and Asia.
Despite continental continuity, Europe and Asia emerged as separate political and cultural spheres over the millennia.
- Russia saw itself as both a European and Asian power but had trouble becoming a part of either.
- It developed “Eurasia” and “Greater Eurasia” as new geopolitical constructs.
- The occupation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine are a product of what Putin sees as his historic mission of reuniting the “Russkiy Mir” or the Russian world. He was determined to pursue it despite the massive costs associated with the strategy.
Various Developments Linked to New Eurasia
- Japan: It is determined to build strong military partnerships with Europe.
- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s message was simple: The security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific is indivisible.
- Japan will also build a large missile arsenal to deter China (and North Korea, whose missile capabilities have grown).
- US: At the instance of the US, the NATO summit in Madrid in June invited key Asian partners to participate.
- The prime ministers of Australia, Japan and New Zealand as well as the president of South Korea joined the summit.
- This is the first time that Asian leaders joined NATO deliberations.
- NATO’s engagement with Indo-Pacific issues and East Asia’s engagement with European security will continue to be new features of Eurasian geopolitics.
- In its National Security Strategy released in 2022, the Biden Administration articulated the desire to see its allies and partners in Europe and Asia collaborate more with each other.
- It is eager to encourage its partners, including India, to build their capabilities and strengthen regional balances of power in Europe and Asia.
- South Korea is also joining the party by raising its profile in Europe.
- It is selling major weapons platforms in Poland.
- Australia, which has joined the US and UK in the AUKUS arrangement, is equally eager to bring Europe into the Indo-Pacific.
- China -Russia Cooperation: Before Japan and South Korea turned to Europe, it was china and Russia who altered the geopolitical dynamic in Eurasia.
- Days before he ordered his armies into Ukraine, Putin travelled to Beijing in February 2022 to sign an agreement declaring an alliance “without limits” and no “forbidden areas”.
- Together, Putin and Xi unveiled a Eurasian alliance that they might have hoped would deliver the long-awaited coup de grace to the global hegemony of the West.
Implications for India
- For India, the rise of Eurasia is making it harder to ride on two boats at the same time.
- Until now, India could easily hunt with the maritime coalition — the Quad — in the Indo-Pacific and run at the same time with the continental coalitions led by Russia and China.
- This was possible so long as the maritime and continental powers were not at each other’s throats.
- But the conflict between the US, Europe, and Japan on the one hand and China and Russia on the other is now acute and shows no signs of immediate amelioration.
- On the downside, then, India’s mounting security challenges from China on the Himalayan frontier and the tightening embrace between Moscow and Beijing will mean the shadow over India’s continental strategy will become darker in the days ahead.
- On the upside, the possibilities for strengthening India’s strategic capabilities in partnership with the US and Europe as well as Japan, South Korea and Australia have never been stronger.
The new dynamic presents challenges as well as opportunities for India and it is up to Delhi now to seize the emerging possibilities.
- India needs to maintain a balance between the USA and China and to a greater extent between the Indo-Pacific region and Eurasia.
- India can act as a bridge between the Indo Pacific region and Eurasia power block. For this India needs to maintain linkage with China and especially with Russia.