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Monday, May 29, 2023

What did Bharat’s top diplomat mean when he encouraged the EU to support a multipolar Asia?

There are three ways to interpret his statement, all of which complement one another as will be explained in this analysis.

Bharatiya External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Saturday during the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm that “a multipolar world, which the EU prefers, is feasible only by a multipolar Asia.” This comment caught the attention of his country’s media, which widely reported on it the next day. There are three ways to interpret his encouragement of the EU to support a multipolar Asia, all of which complement one another as will be explained in this analysis.

The first concerns his country’s threat assessment of China, which is shared by the US and a growing number of EU countries, albeit with some among the latter viewing this differently than others. The unresolved Sino-Indo border dispute makes it easy for Bharat to convince the West that China is allegedly aspiring for hegemony in Asia, which would make the continent unipolar in the event that it succeeds instead of multipolar like India envisages it becoming.

The second interpretation is that EAM Jaishankar was signaling his support for French President Emanual Macron’s recent reference to his goal of turning the EU into an independent pole in the emerging world order. He revived this rhetoric after his latest trip to China, however, which caused some to worry that his views were influenced by President Xi Jinping. Thus, EAM Jaishankar might have been acknowledging the wisdom of the EU supporting multipolarity but reminding it to be consistent when it comes to Asia.

The last reason why he used the words he did might have been to imply Bharat’s importance in the multipolar Asia that the EU prefers. EAM Jaishankar could have done this to preemptively ensure that they won’t pressure it to make policy concessions on so-called “democratic” or “human rights” pretexts. The BBC and infamous Color Revolution financier George Soros recently sought to do precisely that on such bases, hence why Bharat hinted how indispensable its stability is to the EU’s desired future in Asia.

As can be seen, these three interpretations aren’t mutually exclusive but collectively contribute to convincing the EU to treat Bharat as an equal partner at this pivotal phase of the global systemic transition. That bloc’s interests are served by Bharat continuing its rise as a Great Power, which requires them to comprehensively expand economic-financial relations while the EU eschews participation in the Anglo-American Axis’ pressure campaign aimed at turning Bharat into those two’s largest vassal state.

The EU wants to diversify ties with China as part of its hedging strategy, which explains its economic-financial interests in Bharat, yet this plan could be subverted if the Anglo-American Axis succeeds in destabilizing that country. Likewise, Bharat doesn’t just have a self-explanatory reason to expand such ties with Europe, but a geostrategic one as well that’s driven by its interests in preemptively averting the continent’s potentially disproportionate dependence on the People’s Republic.

The synergy between them is strong and thus leads to optimistic predictions about their ties. The only scenario that could offset this trajectory is if the US demands that the bloc joins its pressure campaign against Bharat to dump Russia and fight China. It hasn’t yet done that, however, and might ultimately not if its policymakers fear that the EU might defy them. For that reason, EAM Jaishankar’s latest remark about multipolarity in Asia will likely resonate with the EU and thus further strengthen bilateral ties.

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Andrew Korybko
Andrew Korybko
Moscow-based American political analyst specializing in the global systemic transition to multipolarity


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