are the topic of Ilan Berman’s article Trilateral Alliance: Russia, China, and India may be on a collision course with the U.S.
Indeed, for the past decade, an Asian “triple entente” has remained more rhetoric than reality, with Moscow, Beijing, and New Delhi all charting vastly different political trajectories. Now, however, a convergence of factors suggests that the historical impediments to such an alliance could be diminishing.
For one thing, Russia appears to be reverting to old habits. Over the past year and a half, through a series of electoral victories and not-so-subtle power grabs, President Vladimir Putin has succeeded in virtually monopolizing Russian foreign and security policy. More ominously, these successes have been matched by the return of an assertive, neo-imperial foreign policy — one very much on display in the “post-Soviet space” and, increasingly, well beyond it. As a result, Russia today is drifting away from cooperation with the United States, and toward a distinctly counterproductive stance on an array of issues of serious concern to the Bush administration — from arms sales to Syria to continued nuclear assistance for Iran’s ayatollahs. And a Russian-Chinese-Indian triangle is increasingly part of these new priorities; during his December 2004 visit to India, Putin explicitly echoed Primakov’s vision of an anti-American axis in Asia when he declared that strategic cooperation between the three countries “would make a great contribution to global security.”
This activity is not limited to the Asian continent.
China has been conducting a lot of business in Latin America recently, especially with Venezuela, involving oil of course, and Mexico (Mexico’s a competitor in the clothing trade). In the past year China’s also signed 5 agreements, covering civil aviation transportation, co-operation in public health and medical sciences, cultural co-operation, investment and agriculture with Argentina.
Russia sold 40 helicopters to Venezuela (and has previously sold similar helicopters to Mexico, Peru and Colombia), (Venezuela recently bought 100,000 Russian Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles via Spain), and Russian companies are interested
in investing $500 million in an alumina plant – alumina is used to produced aluminum – in southeastern Venezuela, and in investing capital and technology in joint ventures in the oil and natural gas industry.
Last March India and Venezuela signed a deal on oil exploration, for the expressed purpose of reducing Venezuela’s dependence on the sale of oil to the US. India has a bilateral trade agreement with Chile.
I greatly welcome free trade among countries. However, it would be unrealistic to ignore possible ramifications to national, and international, security.
Berman concludes his article,
Nevertheless, for the first time, both Moscow and Beijing have formally articulated their support for an architecture expressly designed to diminish American influence in Asia. Policymakers in Washington would do well take notice. And, given the growing opposition to American policies now evident in Russia, as well as China’s increasingly aggressive, expansionist foreign-policy agenda, they would do even better to begin planning how to prevent such a construct from becoming a reality.
How about greater Latin American involvement with Japan, Taiwan, and other Asian countries, including a striving Iraq, while at the same time solidifying the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement?