PM to carry Wuhan warmth to SCO but India faces diplomatic challenge
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Qingdao to participate in the SCO summit as a full-fledged member for the first time, India’s challenge is to make itself relevant in a grouping where India’s values don’t match with any of the other member states.
India has participated in all meetings and events since joining up. PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of almost all member states.
India’s ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, told Chinese media in an interview, “The focus of SCO members is in the areas of security cooperation, countering terrorism, economic development as well as cultural exchange. We will continue to expand our cooperation in these areas. India will work with the other member countries in this direction.”
Nevertheless, SCO is run along China’s interests with Russia playing a supporting role, and the growing closeness of the two powers run on a trajectory where India would not like to go. That brings into question India’s own strategy in the SCO. India has identified counter-terrorism, non-proliferation and disarmament and connectivity as being its focus issues in the SCO. In July, Indian forces with conduct military exercises with other SCO forces in Russia, probably the first time Indian and Pakistani forces will exercise together under a multilateral format. India is hoping to use the SCO to expand its own connectivity and trade with Central Asian countries.
In SCO, as in many other forums, India has to play a balancing game and make sure multilateral statements don’t run counter to its own interests. For instance, during the April meeting of foreign ministers, India had to work overtime to keep out a paragraph on Syria that was almost an endorsement of Bashar al Assad from the outcome document. India maintains a more neutral stance on Syria and has to be mindful of its other relationships in the region.
That is also something that worries Indian negotiators working out the Qingdao declaration. India also recently participated in the Quadrilateral meeting with the US, Japan and Australia, a grouping that is anathema to both China and Russia. India would also have to object to open endorsement of OBOR by SCO countries— India has refused to endorse China’s project, though all Central Asian states, Pakistan and Russia have. In a sense, India will be alone in its opposition.
Beyond SCO and strategic autonomy, there is no getting away from the fact that India considers China to be a strategic and long-term challenge, while its struggling to keep its relationship with Russia from declining further. SCO is not likely to be a cakewalk for India, in fact, it could be fraught with diplomatic challenges.
Surya Jay-3 hours ago
A most hardworking and honest and best PM of India will succeed in making a relevance for India. Good Luck , Modi Sir.
Satyendra N Dhanda
Satyendra N Dhanda-2 hours ago
I curse the Gandi family when ever I have time for little progress in economic sphere
Prakash Kulkarni-Philadelphia-3 hours ago-Follow
No worries. Modi is smart enough to know how to steer the ship.
Satyendra N Dhanda
Satyendra N Dhanda-2 hours ago-Follow
China is the country with deep pockets, where as UPA govt. looted the nation and did not industrialize the nation. The mistake by Congress we are paying the price today
nanksn-Planet earth-3 hours ago-Follow
International diplomacy is tricky and a delicate balancing act and so far we have been doing well..Hope we continue to do so even after 2019..
Bala Srinivasan-saginaw USA-2 hours ago-Follow
INDIA has the mental tenacity&faculty to stand alone under such trying conditions in SCO.This ability to influence from within an org like SCO is very valuable.
Frequent Flyer-Bhubaneshwar-4 hours ago-Follow
FEKU enjoying at taxpayer expense. Eighty plus foreign trips till now!!ð
Intellect-1 hour ago-Follow
That is called diplomacy.Face challenge, touch all chords that affects you.UPA & most of the time CONgress was very big failure.They tried to copy others 4 development.Never tried 2come out of poverty Economy&Money drives,guide,accelerate
,slows .. all kinds of forces governed by those two . So UPA era & CONgress was biggest failure .
Abdulhaq Syed-3 hours ago-Follow
India has no say in this conference . Modi is there , because he wants to get away from India , " Bai gani shadi may Abdulla Dewana " ! By the way when is he visiting India ?
Rakesh Pandeya-Mumbai-4 hours ago-Follow
SCO is timepass for FEKU and time waste for India.
Ganpat Singh Bhati
Ganpat-53 mins ago-Follow
The writer is unaware that Khaqan Abbasi in not the PM of Pakistan. There is a Caretaker government headed by a retired judge.
Anonymous Anonymous-bangalore-4 hours ago-Follow
SCO forum is a nice alternate platform for economic development but its been used by china for OBOR which Indian has to avoid while discussing.
Vinod Aggarwal-INDIA-49 mins ago-Follow
MODIJI IS GREAT