P. S. Suryanarayana

P. S. Suryanarayana

Adjunct Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

P S Suryanarayana is an adjunct senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He was previously a foreign correspondent of India’s English-language daily, The Hindu, where he served successively in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Asia-Pacific region. He is the author of three books: The Elusive Tipping Point: China-India Ties for a New Order (World Scientific, Singapore, 2021); Smart Diplomacy: Exploring China-India Synergy (World Century, USA, 2016); and The Peace Trap: An Indo-Sri Lankan Political Crisis (Affiliated East West Press, India, 1988).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits International Media Center, on the second day of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, 10 September 2023. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

G20 summit 2023: India-China win-win moment?

China and India have surprisingly cooperated in facing a polarised geopolitical ambience during the G20 summit in Delhi on 9-10 September 2023, says Indian academic P. S. Suryanarayana. China supported India’s leadership in reaching a G20 consensus on the Ukraine crisis and the development priorities of the global south. The nuances of acquiescence by the US-led West may be key to the future of world affairs, because the G20 reflects today’s realities.
Russian police patrol Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on 26 April 2023. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

Can the Russia-India-China (RIC) troika overcome its existential dilemma?

The geopolitical Russia-India-China (RIC) troika was conceptualised by Russian leader Yevgeny Primakov in 1996 to challenge the unipolar dominance of the US. With waxing and waning progress, though, the RIC today faces an existential dilemma. China and Russia are coordinating among themselves for a “new era”; India is autonomously making common cause with the US, Australia and Japan in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. However, the RIC could still explore geostrategic coordination and geoeconomic partnership. For this, the troika must seize the opportunity of India hosting the summits of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Group of Twenty later this year.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks at the welcoming dinner during the G20 Summit in Badung on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on 15 November 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/AFP)

India's G20 presidency: Can China and India cooperate to create an 'Asian moment'?

China’s aspirational “Asian moment” in global governance will come true if a China-India geoeconomic concert drives India’s presidency of the G20 in 2023. For this to happen, the two Asian neighbours must rise above the geopolitics of their ongoing military hostility and work together to advance global economic recovery.
People cheer and wave Indian national flags during a march to celebrate the country's upcoming 75th Independence Day celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, on 12 August 2022. (Sam Panthaky/AFP)

India’s stand on Taiwan crisis: Rebalancing ties with China

Beijing is keen that Delhi should express support for PRC’s territorial sovereignty over Taiwan. For India, though, the unresolved Sino-Indian boundary dispute and their ongoing military standoff force a reality check in this relationship. In the absence of a Chinese reciprocal one-India policy, Delhi is messaging that while it will not bandwagon with pro-Taiwan forces, a new template of Sino-Indian ties is required.
A member of security personnel stands guard behind a perimeter fence at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, on 20 May 2022. (Pawan Sharma/AFP)

India's choice: Pro-US, pro-China or stay autonomous?

With his visit to Asia in May and the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity which includes India, US President Joe Biden clearly seeks to recast the strategic environment in which China operates. On its part, China had earlier launched the Global Security Initiative and is articulating its vision of a changing world order. For India, therefore, the long-term choice is either strategic autonomy, or the role of a pro-US or even pro-China “swing state”.
A pro-Ukraine demonstrator holds a sign with Putin depicted as Hitler during a protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 9 April 2022. (Carla Carniel/Reuters)

Lessons from Russia-Ukraine war: The UN of 1945 must be reformed

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global geopolitics and geoeconomics. By supporting Ukraine, the US-led NATO is trying to clip the powerful military wings of its strategic rival, Russia. Furthermore, US President Joe Biden’s massive sanctions on Russia have produced cascading adverse consequences for many economies. Amid greater uncertainty, might the G20 under UN auspices be a good avenue of negotiating the new global order?
US President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, US, 18 March 2022. (The White House/Handout via Reuters)

Xi Jinping's answer to Washington's expansionist moves in Asia and the world

Chinese President Xi Jinping has suggested a “balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture” to manage the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to ensure stability regionally and worldwide. He seems to suggest that the balance of national interests, not balance of power, is better at promoting a regional order for Asia or East Asia too.
Indian Army soldiers stand next to a M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer positioned at Penga Teng Tso ahead of Tawang, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), neighbouring China, in India's Arunachal Pradesh state on 20 October 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

Overcoming power imbalances and policy clashes: The quest for a peaceful China-India future

Mind games among the US, China, Russia and India may influence Sino-Indian engagement in the new year and beyond. China could move even closer to Russia in dealing with India, and the US could further call on India as a “major defence partner” in its intense competition with China. External factors aside, a peaceful and cooperative China-India future requires synchronised political will in their bilateral and global diplomacy. Key is unequal power and core interests as China and India each employ the diplomacy of smart power. Will an uneasy status quo be maintained in their long-unresolved boundary dispute, and will they find the impetus for collaboration in a post-Covid-19 order?
US President Joe Biden listens as India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a 'Quad nations' meeting at the Leaders' Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework held in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US, 24 September 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

AUKUS and Quad do not solve India's regional security problems

China’s efforts to reap strategic gains in Kabul, in partnership with Pakistan and Russia, are of real concern to India following the US pullout from Afghanistan. Will Beijing reinforce Islamabad’s navy in retaliation for the AUKUS pact? Is an alternative arrangement linking China, Pakistan and Russia emerging to rival the US-led Quad which includes India?