Pushback to Unilateralism: The China-India-Russia Alliance

By Niazi, Tarique | Foreign Policy in Focus, January 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

Pushback to Unilateralism: The China-India-Russia Alliance


Niazi, Tarique, Foreign Policy in Focus


As U.S. unilateralism has asserted the role of the United States as the sole global superpower, the rest of the world is exploring a variety of ways of pushing back. One is the creation of several new regional security consortiums which are independent of the U.S. One of the most important is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security alliance led by Russia and China, with several non-voting members including India. Its rising economic, political and military profile this year can serve as a useful lens through which to view this geopolitical pushback. It is based on promoting a multipolar world, distributing power along multiple poles in the international system, such as the United States, Europe, Asia-Eurasia and the Middle East, (1) while also promoting the multilateralism of international cooperation. (2) In recent years, Russia and China have stepped up their advocacy for a multipolar-multilateral alternative.

Multipolarity

Russia is promoting its vision of a multipolar world hinging on the consensus-based decision making that it wants steered through global institutions such as the United Nations. Chinese President Hu Jintao has outlined a similar vision. At a caucus of the leaders of Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa in Berlin, Germany in June of 2007 he said: "Developing countries should strengthen cooperation and consolidate solidarity to promote the establishment of a multipolar world and a democratic international relationship. (3)

India, however, treads cautiously between the competing visions of a world with multiple poles of power. As such, it makes a refined distinction between multipolarity and multilateralism, and strongly advocates for the latter. India rejects multipolarity that seeks to challenge U.S. military power, while espousing the need for cooperation in governing international relations. In 2003, India's External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha outlined the contours of multilateralism: "If globalization is the trend, then multilateralism is its life-sustaining mechanism, for no process will survive without a genuine spirit of multilateralism underlined by the belief that global problems require global solutions globally arrived at. Otherwise, the world faces the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past." (4) He emphatically rejected unilateralism, and pointed out that "Iraq attests to the limits of unilateralism." (5) In October this year, Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling Congress Party in India, while on a landmark visit to Beijing, offered her formulation of a world order on which her country agrees with China: "Both China and India seek an open and inclusive world order based on the principles of 'Panchsheel' that were founded together by (then Chinese Prime Minister) Zhou Enlai and (India's founding father) Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954." (6) Later, Panchsheel became the founding charter of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that had claimed to be the third pole of power in the bipolar world.

A substantial outcome of this advocacy came about in February 2007 when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao signed the Declaration on the World Order in the 21st Century. (7) The Declaration called for peaceful coexistence, a just and rational world order, abandonment of unilateralism, and embrace of multilateralism. In its own words, the Declaration stated: "It is necessary to solve differences and disputes in a peaceful way, avoid unilateral action (and) not to resort to the policy of diktat, the threat or use of force ... Every country has the right to manage its affairs in a sovereign way and international issues should be resolved through dialogue and consultations on the basis of multilateral collective approaches." (8) Similarly India, in its bilateral relations with China and Russia, boldly spells out its vision of a world of shared governance.

Trilateral Dialogue: China, India and Russia

The growing convergence in the worldview of China, India and Russia brought them into a trilateral dialogue, which in Chinese President Hu's words would see "the three nations work together for further communication and coordination in major international and regional issues and promote the solution of disputes and differences through dialogue. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pushback to Unilateralism: The China-India-Russia Alliance
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.