Home / Opinion / The New EurasianUnion? | Professor Shahid Zubair
The New EurasianUnion? | Professor Shahid Zubair

The New EurasianUnion? | Professor Shahid Zubair

At this point in time, a clear opportunity exists for the Russian Federation, Peoples’ Republic of China and other states in the region to promote once again.

The rise of the East as centre of culture and civilization,science, technology and humanitarian values of love, peace, consideration forothers, betterment of all through formation of Eurasian Union, that is, the New EU and revivification of the Silk route.

Throughout the last century and even in the 21stCentury, Asia has profusely been bleeding at the hands of the West.

The people of Asia earnestly want to find freedom from multi-coiled neo-imperialist shackles.

Recently, the US influence has suffered a huge set back by acts of US led devastating destruction inflicted upon Iraq and Afghanistan; and by inconsistent, hapless and impotentforeign policy towards favouriteslike Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

In case of Ukraine and Syria, the dawdling and dwindling US foreign policy has seen utter failure.
More specifically, the declaration of India as a strategic partner has been understood as encouraging pat on the shoulderof a regional hegemony-inspiredpower.

This US action has naturallyinculcated fear and discontentment in almost all Asian countries, particularly those which were already suffering from large-scale Indian violence, massacre and aggression for decades.

Almost immediately after India-US strategic partnership declaration, India started speaking the US language for free navigation in South East China Sea, a stand already posited by Japan, Philippines and Vietnamwith US indulging ina series of provocative actions like flying over sensitive Chinese islands of Senkuk and Spratly.

China strictly warned against conducting any joint navy exercise or patrolling in South East China Sea which China claims as its own.

Against the presence of mortars, recoilless rifles and missiles belonging to the three countries mentioned above, China deployed SAM on Hainan, Spratly and Woody islands equipped heavily with nukes, frigates, submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers.

Along with this, China has also prepared a potential network of defencewhich extends from Chinese soils in the Yellow Sea toSudanese soils in the Red Sea, in order to protect its trade particularly near narrow sea route atthe Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Hormuz.

The US alliance with India is not going to bring any dividend.

Like ineffective sanctions against Iran and the Russian Federation, the expectations from India are bound to fail because the US has not learnt lesson from thepast Indianrigid mentality.

During heydays of Indian relations with Soviet Russians, not aspeckof contribution wascontributed towards realization of long awaited Russian wish of access to warmwaters ofthe Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

In addition to this impassive and apathetic Indian non-performance, geostrategic locationand typical Indian culture are tough hurdles for India to surmount in order to comply with US agenda of encircling and containing China and Russian Federation.

In fact, India has very limited and peripheral role to play in this context.

All thatIndia can do is to serve the purpose of arms manufacturing factory, purveyor of supplies and be a contractor for US civil works.

Even if the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) is signed and concluded between India and the US, it is not a defence pact: it only provides facility to use each other’s bases, airports, sea ports, roads, railways, cantonments and so on for “resupplies, repair and rest” as etched during the US Secretary Defence Ashton Carter’s visit to India in April 2016.

The US-India romance is, therefore, sexy.

Most importantly, Asians must be aware of those countries who offer themselves as allies to the West.

There should be a full-fledged campaign all through Asiato scuttle India’s admission to Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).

This is profoundly in the interest of Asia to frustrate any such attempt so as to maintain balance of power and consequently achieve peace.

Above all, the myth of Europe as a unified {w}hole has reached the end of the tether.
Soviet Russia and its republics did not want to join European Union(the old EU).
Switzerland, Norway and Iceland preferred to remain outside EU.
On the contrary, Turkeywas very eager to join EU but hasn’t yet received membership status.
Britain has almost always treated EU as “necessary evil” and an unnecessary intrusion in their national life.
Despite the alternatives suggested by think tanks like Chicago-based “High Beam” and London-based “Policy Network,” the United Kingdom (UK) is dissatisfied with its predicament as member of EU for it has not brought the desired benefits of national interest.
The UK is inevitably caught up in a self-flagellating dilemma.
If it remains within the EU, its national interests suffer and if it exits from EU, the reaction falls on Scotland.
So,the Westminster model of Britain is challenged by Scotland as there are voices whowant to wean awayScotland from Britain.

The UK referendum of 23rd June, 2016 will not solve the problem.
Whether EU accommodates UK proposals for makingfundamental changes or not, the leadership tussle between the UK and rest of the EU members will remain as it is.
The main reason is theirreconcilable matter of European leadership.
France is equal contender for leadership of EU.
Thusin due course of time, the UK tussle with other memberswill reducethe EU into meaningless entity,either for one or for the other party.

In response to the above developments, Russian Federation and China should not limit themselves to trade agreements only, like that of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
They should go for proper viable trade and defence pacts under the orbit of the New EU.
Trade and defence always go together.
Without defence, the trade will suffer.
The possibility of a strong economic zone is there, but not without a strong defence.

What is important is that the New EU should be unlike EU, bringing benefits not for a selected few, but for all, without discrimination of rich and poor, and not only good for Europe but for Asia also.

If the combined efforts of China, Russia and regional states are able to find out befitting answers to US provocations in the South East China Sea and ifthey jointly search out the secrets of the US manoeuvring around the worldfrom Cuba to India and Japan, then birth of NEW EU is onedown-to-earth basic,strategic move which can redress balance of power once more in the world.
As the Latin poet Horace seems to suggest around 40 BC,“carpe diem!”

Professor Shahid Zubair is a senior analyst and an educationist based in Lahore, Pakistan.

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