Special Forum Issue
“The Russia-India-China (RIC) Triangle”
A View from India
“Let me, dear colleagues, reaffirm India’s continued commitment to foster closer dialogue and cooperation among the three largest nations in the Eurasian region under the RIC mechanism…India has been actively contributing to finding mutually acceptable solutions to international and regional issues. We believe that a multi-polar and re-balanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and contemporary realities requires Reformed Multilateralism.”
S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, Government of India, November 20211
The above remarks were made by the Indian minister at a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China (RIC) a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion does not change the basic objectives and principles of Indian foreign policy as outlined here by the Indian foreign minister. Successive Indian governments post-1947 have repeatedly laid emphasis on the pursuit of an independent foreign policy. Strategic balancing through close engagement and cooperation with all leading powers has remained a salient feature of the country’s foreign policy. Regional arrangements and multilateral mechanisms of various hues form an integral part of this strategic balancing. From New Delhi’s perspective, being a part of different partnerships and groupings works in India’s interests even if the impression might be created that some of these are prejudiced against each other. It is in this framework that India’s participation in the RIC trilateral needs to be understood. This is not to deny the contradictions or tensions among the three actors—in particular, in India-China bilateral relations—that has constrained it from having tangible or sustainable outcomes. The question then is why India has persisted with the RIC forum.
The origins of RIC as a strategic grouping can be traced to the late 1990s, against the backdrop of post-Cold War hyperactivity of the United States. Yevgeny Primakov, Russian foreign minister from 1996 to 1998, is credited with the idea, as a counterbalance to the US-led unipolar world order. In this three-nation pivot to multipolarity, Russia would act as the link, by “renewing old ties with India, and fostering newly discovered friendship with China.”2 In 1999, the NATO attack on Serbia over the Kosovo issue, and the aerial bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, allowed Primakov, now prime minister of Russia, to push the idea along further. While the Chinese were concerned also about US policy on Taiwan and Tibet, India’s involvement in the trilateral was largely conditioned by the need to “resist US pressure on its nuclear weapons programme”—the US had imposed sanctions on India following the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998—and also to “drive a wedge between China and the USA which had teamed up to call for a rollback.”3 In addition to these realpolitik motivations, invocation of these three countries as civilizational states was also used to buttress their convergence.4 While China and Russia were seeking to frame the fledgling Eurasian coalition as anti-US, India’s disposition was intended to ensure its strategic autonomy, and reflected its desire to maintain its independent foreign policy—India sought to keep its options open, in engaging with the external world, especially important powers, and did not want to be identified as belonging to any specific camp, or alliance.
It is not without reason then that the RIC trilateral first took off at the level of academics and think-tanks. The Indian government was willing to support this activity, but it was not until September 2002 that an informal meeting of the RIC foreign ministers was first held, taking place in New York on the sidelines of the 57th session of the UN General Assembly.5 The foreign ministers have subsequently met 17 times, with the last meeting held online in November 2021.6
The Track-2 academic trilateral initiative involved institutions in each of the countries. The Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, and the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing were the founding members of this initiative. Through annual conferences hosted by each of the institutions in turn, the initiative aimed to “[deepen] cooperation in diverse areas like energy, environment, health, agriculture, and education, which contribute to transformative process in these countries.”7 Over time, the deliberations, and recommendations made at the Track-2 level laid the foundation for establishment of Track-1 initiatives and have informed statements and declarations of the RIC foreign ministers and heads of government.
While the practice of the foreign ministers meeting on the sidelines of global events has continued, there are more stand-alone meetings now. The three leadership level summits to date have all been classified as “informal,” suggesting either a lack of a clear agenda or that the agenda is flexible and open-ended. They have also always taken place on the margins of other major meetings the three leaders were attending. Given that this is a period when India is repairing and scaling up its ties with the US and also facing increasing challenges on its disputed boundary with China owing to the latter’s rapid infrastructure build-up, it can be surmised that such lack of structure of the leaders-level meetings is at least partly the result of Indian reluctance to institutionalize them. The first of these summits between Russia, India, and China took place in St. Petersburg in July 2006 on the sidelines of the G8 Summit. It took another 12 years before the second informal leadership summit took place in 2018 on the occasion of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, followed by another such meeting at the next G20 summit in Osaka in 2019.8 Such occasional meetings at the top level are also determined and conditioned by the nature of deliberations at the foreign ministerial level. Meanwhile, joint activities under the RIC framework have grown gradually at different levels in the two decades since its establishment as a Track-1 initiative. In 2019-20, joint activities included director general-level consultations, meetings of young diplomats, and an online meeting of national sanitary and epidemiological services at the height of the pandemic.9
India’s Reasons: Multipolarity and Equality in International Relations
The RIC countries together “contribute 40 percent of global population, 24 percent of global GDP and 19 percent of the world’s land area.”10 Through RIC, India, therefore, sees itself as gaining weight that it would not possess by itself.
The first academic trilateral conference was hosted in Moscow in September 2001, in which the participants agreed on the need for trilateral cooperation “based on common or similar positions on a broad range of international issues such as democratisation of international relations, formation of a multipolar world, opposing hegemony, construction of a fair and rational new international order, countering international terrorism, extremism, separatism, organised crime and illegal circulation of drugs…that trilateral cooperation does not imply the formation of alliances, bloc, etc.”11 The first leadership level summit at St. Petersburg in 2006 also had all three leaders expressing “their strong interest in the emergence of a multipolar world and multilateralism, and focussing their discussions on terrorism, drug trafficking, crime and other challenges confronting these countries.”12
The importance of “common or similar positions” cannot be overstated. From the beginning, it was clear that there is no absolute agreement among the three countries on all issues. However, it is also evident that each found an agreement around general principles useful for its own purposes. Thus, in the case of “democratisation of international relations,” the three countries agreed that US unilateralism or Western dominance of international institutions worked against their interests, but the degree of agreement has never been the same and the actual alternatives that each wanted in place were quite clearly different. For instance, anti-Americanism was a stronger motivation for the Russians than it was for the Chinese in the beginning, even if the latter had seemingly over time moved past the Russians. For the Indian government, the case has been less anti-Americanism than disappointment with the world’s oldest democracy’s inability to accord a fellow democracy and the world’s largest one its due respect. It is worth noting that in the years since 1998 and well before the first RIC leaders’ summit, India and the US had already taken several transformative steps in their relationship. A high point in this regard was the conclusion of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership between the two countries in 2004.13
Meanwhile, the Indian foreign secretary’s statement following the meeting of the leaders in 2019 stressing the need to “uphold international order based on accepted international norms and international law”14 was clearly also a message to the Chinese, who had been for several years preceding taken to violating not only bilateral agreements with India on maintaining peace and stability along their disputed boundary but also international law in the South China Sea with their illegal claims and reclamation activities. The latter has implications for India’s trade through the waters and its relations with partners in the region. In many ways, the Indian statement was prescient—in the summer of 2020, China would engage in its most egregious violation of bilateral treaties, precipitating clashes and casualties along the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) that represents the disputed boundary. The Russians, too, would violate international law less than two years later with their invasion of Ukraine.
Similarly, the Indian call to “promote a multi-polar world, a world in which there are many centers of influence and stability”15 seemed to suggest a degree of impatience with China’s less than fulsome support for UN Security Council reform as well as attempts to undermine or ignore India’s pre-eminent status in South Asia. The statement also more sharply underlines a concern over the Chinese inability to acknowledge India’s role in ensuring stability in South Asia. China’s claims, especially through its Belt and Road Initiative of bringing development to the region has, in fact, led to disorder and instability in countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
India’s Reasons: Multilateralism and Institutional Reforms
Through RIC, India is also able to highlight those aspects that it sees as missing in terms of its global status—the “historical injustice”16 of its lack of a UN Security Council permanent seat, for example. This contrast with Russia and China does two things. On the one hand, India manages to make a statement of being able to be part of a powerful collection of countries despite not being a permanent member. On the other, it is a subtle way of putting pressure on the two permanent members of the UN Security Council for supporting India’s candidacy.
Even if there is increasing scepticism within the Indian strategic community that the UN Security Council can be reformed at all, India continues to raise the issue in both its bilateral and multilateral engagements. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the need for “global systems to adapt themselves…create systems that address the problems of today and the challenges of tomorrow.”17 In his opening remarks at the special meeting of RIC foreign ministers to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of Second World War and the founding of the United Nations, Jaishankar remarked, “international affairs must also come to terms with contemporary reality. The United Nations began with 50 members; today it has 193. Surely, its decision making cannot continue to be in denial of this fact. We, the RIC countries, have been active participants in shaping the global agenda. It is India’s hope that we will also now converge on the value of reformed multilateralism.”18
It is remarkable that Jaishankar is making this statement just a week after the deadly clashes between Indian and Chinese troops on the LAC in June 2020. A year later, another senior foreign ministry official would say at another RIC forum that “reforms will not be meaningful without inclusion of India as a permanent member of an expanded UN Security Council.”19
Another crucial arena for reformed multilateralism is the World Trade Organization (WTO), and India has used RIC as a sounding board as well as possible collaborative mechanism to advance its goals. With a ”strong commitment to a rule-based, multilateral, equitable world trading regime and a trading regime which takes development as its centerpiece,” India has underscored the need “for differentiated treatment of developed and developing countries.”20 To further this cause, New Delhi has repeatedly emphasized it in deliberations at the RIC Forum to galvanize opinion, find avenues of cooperation, and create the ground for building a coalition of like-minded countries within WTO. In fact, at one point, India and China were able to join forces within the organization to guard their interests against the West’s overdrive on intellectual property rights and agricultural subsidies. However, at the 3rd informal leadership summit, the agreement that “in an era of economic change and global change it is important to maintain the trend of globalization…maintain liberalization of trade, of free trading system, an open trading system, a rules-based trading system, to oppose the tendency towards protectionism and to give a proper direction to WTO reform”21 speaks largely to the Chinese position against the US rather than any real commitment to a free and fair global trading regime. India sees itself as a beneficiary of the American pressure to decouple from China. What is more, India is one of the biggest initiators of anti-dumping cases against China.22 Clearly then, RIC is a forum for making what might best be considered only rhetorical commitments.
Rhetoric on collaboration was also visible in climate change negotiations on the issue of “common but differentiated responsibilities’ separating the commitments of the developed world and developing countries on climate change mitigation efforts. Discussions and deliberations within RIC served as homework, to prepare for the debates within larger global forums. At the 18th foreign ministerial meeting held online in November 2021, there was reaffirmation of the “commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities… They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.”23 What is not obvious from the statement is that India has, in recent years, been critical of China’s positions at climate change negotiations. For one, India is increasingly of the belief that China is in a category by itself as a global polluter and that it has attempted to take cover behind other developing nations in order to escape bigger commitments. For another, China has increasingly made its own deals with the advanced industrialized economies. India was, for example, sidelined in the deal US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached ahead of the Paris climate summit in 2015 despite China being part of the BASIC group of Brazil, South Africa, China, and India. China has even pitted itself against Russia and India, for instance, on the matter of including climate change on the agenda of the UN Security Council.24 Meanwhile, talk of cooperation in green technology, particularly of interest at the academic trilaterals, has never amounted to anything. The two principal actors in this domain, China and India, have preferred to let market mechanisms operate in the field of renewable energies—India is among the biggest importers of solar modules from China,25 for example—rather than work on joint projects.
India’s Reasons: Security and Regional Order
From a strategic and economic perspective, involvement in RIC provides India access to Eurasia, and helps in engaging with all the countries in the region. This helps India to portray itself as a “continental power,” reminding itself to “not cede geostrategic space to China” in its extended neighborhood.26 Equally important is the need for a stable Afghanistan from a long-term security point of view. This has become even more necessary in the absence of active, diplomatic relations post the Taliban takeover in 2021. Along with its concern for “an inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan,” and “commitment to the well-being of Afghan people” through humanitarian assistance, India has highlighted its worries about terrorism, radicalization, and drug trafficking, by flagging Afghanistan’s predicament in RIC.27 Once again though, China has had its own approach to Afghanistan in many ways preferring a non-American supported regime28 and now becoming the first major country to send a new ambassador to Kabul under the second Taliban administration.29
In fact, terrorism is an issue that India has chosen to bring up regularly as part of the original objectives of the RIC Forum on contemporary global challenges. The issue figured prominently in India’s deliberations at the 16th RIC foreign ministerial meeting in Wuzhen, China in February 2019, as it was held a few days after the terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on a convoy of Indian paramilitary personnel. Naming the terrorist organization, Jaish-e-Mohammed, India also justified its cross-border air strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistani territory in response.30 India’s objectives in bringing up terrorism prominently in RIC over a period are two-fold: one, to seek a consensus within RIC on the issue, and two, to hold fellow member China accountable, over its “all-weather” relationship with Pakistan. To quote then Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj at the 14th Foreign Ministers’ meeting in 2016, “India believes that the foremost challenge to international security continues to be posed by international terrorism. The RIC countries must lead the way in getting the international community together to counter terrorism through joint action, including at the UN. We must not fail in this regard. If we continue to adopt double standards in dealing with terrorism it will have serious consequences not just for our own countries, but the international community as a whole.”31 “Double standards” was a clear reference to China, which has had its own agenda on terrorism targeting its minority ethnic population in Xinjiang. And even though Beijing has bilaterally pressured the Pakistanis to cut off support for supposed terrorism in the province, it has consistently blocked Indian efforts to sanction Pakistan-based terrorists at the UN Security Council.
Going Beyond the RIC Trilateral
As important as RIC might have been for India over the years, the fact is that its small composition and the increasing deviation of Russia and China from the mean of international law and norms makes India’s membership costly in terms of image and reputation vis-à-vis its other bilateral relationships, particularly that with the US and European nations. India’s presence in a grouping dominated by two authoritarian states confuses perceptions among other countries of India’s identity as a democracy.
It is not surprising, therefore, that India has attempted to soften the impact of its association with Russia and China by seeking to expand into such groupings as BRICS. India was a founding member of what was then BRIC—later, BRICS after South Africa joined in 2011—and participated in the first summit in 2009 in Russia.32 Of course, Russia and China have their own entirely different reasons for seeking such expansion—for them it is a way of expanding also the size of an anti-US or, at the very least, non-Western bloc. With the addition of six new members—Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—to the BRICS fold in September 2023, the anti-US character would appear to be somewhat diluted given that several are actually US allies. However, its non-Western as well as politically authoritarian character have been strengthened, which arguably serves Russian and Chinese interests more than it does any Indian interests.
India’s joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), however, is of a very different character. Here, India’s full membership in 2017—after first gaining observer status in 200533—suggests that for India neither the organization’s anti-Western tilt nor the authoritarian nature of most of its regimes mattered as much as access to and presence in the region. What is worth noting is that India’s engagement with all three organizations is now more or less happening in parallel and their discourses often intersect with one another. Both BRICS and SCO have grown in profile over time, with the latter having a formal secretariat, while the former has expanded its operations through initiatives like the New Development Bank.
The arrival of these two multilateral groupings has no doubt diversified the RIC portfolio. Russia, India, and China are each important in the BRICS format, but India is, as yet, far from being a prominent player in the SCO. While BRICS has regular meetings of the heads of government and ministers, it also has an extensive set of practical cooperation mechanisms run at the level of senior officials. Further, there are multiple exchanges and engagements through Track-2 initiatives.34 The SCO has all of this and more. It is a far more organized and effective setup given that it has a full-fledged secretariat. Importantly, the security agenda has considerable importance alongside economic cooperation, as is reflected in the fact that there are regular military and counter-terrorism exercises among its members.
However, India strangely “views the SCO as an Asian body and not as a military bloc or a body to counter the West. It considers the SCO a useful organisation and a dialogue platform for the regional countries to discuss economic and security issues…this organisation brings all the Central Asian countries and its neighbours on the same platform where India can interact with all Central Asian countries at the same time.”35 While it is stated that India’s burgeoning energy needs require deeper engagement with the Central Asian countries, there is very little of practical import that has been achieved so far or looks achievable. This is due to issues of terrain and geopolitical competition, primarily between India and Pakistan, also a member of the SCO and through whose territory energy pipelines would have to pass. For example, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline has been in the works for over a decade. The other route for pipelines to India is through Chinese territory, but while this occasionally has been broached at RIC academic forums, it has never taken shape as a concrete proposal.
Unlike the SCO and BRICS, the institutional structure of RIC is still loose. There is neither a structured regularity in its meetings/summits, nor any formal institutional architecture—such as a secretariat, staff, or headquarters—binding the three participating countries together. The trilateral has largely been limited to the foreign ministerial level and at least in India, there has been a considerable lack of enthusiasm since the Modi-led government took power in New Delhi in 2014 with the Ministry of External Affairs completely cutting off funding support for the Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, which had served as the nodal institution for RIC exchanges at the academic level.
At the same time, India is interested in “multi-alignment”—forming strategic partnerships with select states with the implicit understanding that these “do not bind them into supporting each other on all strategic issues in all situations” and that “partnerships are entered into in those areas of common interest where mutual help and collaboration can be of long-term benefit to both.”36 This is best summed up by Jaishankar, when he says that “Nations will have to forge issue-based relationships that can often be pulling them in different directions. Keeping many balls up in the air and reconciling commitments to multiple partners takes great skill. There will be convergence with many but congruence with none. Finding common points to engage with as many power centres will characterize diplomacy.”37
This, then also explains India’s fine line between the US-led West and Russia on the war in Ukraine. But it also raises questions about India’s China policy. How serious can the Indian government be about RIC at a time when bilateral tensions are ongoing with China along their disputed boundary? The fact that India attended a trilateral of the foreign ministers in Russia in September 2020 and hosted another meeting online in November 2021 despite the conflict with China while there have been no meetings following the Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to suggest that India-China tensions carried less weight in RIC, including for India, than Western opprobrium against Russia.
Conclusion: The End of RIC?
Despite India-China tensions, it might be the Russia-Ukraine conflict, therefore, that has sounded the death knell of RIC. Another reason for such an assessment lies in the increasing political alignment between Russia and China. India and China have approached the Russian invasion of Ukraine quite differently. India has opposed the invasion as a matter of principle and violation of international law and declared that “today’s era must not be of war”—even getting the statement incorporated in the Leaders’ Declaration of the G20 summit it hosted in September in New Delhi.38
For Beijing, respect for international law or conventions is not at the heart of the issue as much as an immediate consideration of its interests—the disruption of its trade routes through the region, international pressure on its engagement with Russia as well as a degree of domestic pressure vis-à-vis the long promised “reunification” of Taiwan. However, it has by and large sided with the Russians. It is impossible to believe that the partnership “without limits” declared between Russia and China in Beijing in early February 2022 on the eve of the invasion did not come with some sort of signal from the Russians that the invasion was in the offing. Subsequently, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi referred to Russia as his country’s “most important strategic partner” and even added for good measure that friendship between the two was “iron clad.”39 Like China, however, Indian interlocutors too, are critical of the role of NATO in egging Ukraine into an untenable situation, and the New Delhi G20 summit declaration also reflects this, not criticizing the Russians by name even as it expressed concern over the war and its global impact.40
Quite apart from the fact that there is a reluctance to give RIC an institutional architecture, creating doubts about its future and efficacy, a three-cornered multilateral arrangement comprising two contending participants with a relationship in a downward spiral is unlikely to be a sustainable one. India has been in a similar situation before—consistently poor India-Pakistan ties has led to a weakened South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). There has been no leadership-level SAARC summit since 2014, or any engagement at any other level for several years now. While relations between India and China have not yet stalled across all domains—the trade relationship is still going strong with bilateral trade at over US$100 billion annually—ties are by and large on a downward trajectory, and the status of this bilateral relationship will have an impact on the vitality of RIC. Until now, Russia has acted as the bridge and cushioned tenuous Sino-India relations in the trilateral. However, this might not hold in the event of any further deterioration in ties between the Asian giants. If the hardening of public opinion on both sides following the violent clashes between troops in 2020 were not enough, India’s growing strategic relationship with the US will put further pressure on ties given that China sees the US as its principal challenger in global politics.
RIC cannot be a sustainable entity also if two countries—Russia and China—are locked in an ever-closer relationship, willing to violate international law and norms, and clearly in opposition, in terms of principles and approaches to international order, to India and democracies everywhere. India will also be watching how the new iterations of China’s Belt and Road Initiative—Global Security Initiative, Global Development Initiative, and Global Civilizational Initiative—play out, and the degree of enthusiasm the Russians have for these.
When India first came on board the RIC platform, Russia was a far more powerful and significant player on the global stage than it is now. Importantly, Moscow was not as beholden to or dependent on the Chinese as increasingly appears to be the case now. This reduces Russia’s usefulness to India as a counter-balance to China. If the G20 summit declaration is anything to go by, it would appear that New Delhi believes or hopes that this Russian position as a secondary player to China is temporary. It remains to be seen how long India will hold on to this position, but it could well be that the G20 statement is the last hurrah of the RIC grouping.
While these conditions make India’s position in RIC difficult if not untenable, the record will show that India has previously displayed a great degree of tolerance in the face of uncomfortable realities in RIC. Even if RIC does not function, there is still BRICS and SCO, where the idea and principles of the trilateral, if not the actual entity itself, will hold sway. That would be a win for RIC at least as far as Russia and China are concerned. For New Delhi, meanwhile, the impression of “multi-alignment” or “strategic autonomy” in its foreign policy might be too valuable a position to ever give up, both as a bargaining counter in its dealings with the West as well as an element of its own external identity.
Anand P. Krishnan is Fellow, Centre for Himalayan Studies, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi-NCR. email@example.com
Jabin T Jacob is Associate Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, & Director, Centre for Himalayan Studies, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi-NCR. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. S. Jaishankar, “Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at the 18th Meeting of RIC Foreign Ministers,” November 26, 2021, https://www.mea.gov.in/Speeches-Statements.htm?dtl/34539/
2. Rakesh Krishnan Simha, “Primakov: The Man Who Created Multipolarity,” Russia Beyond, June 27, 2015, https://www.rbth.com/blogs/2015/06/27/primakov_the_man_who_created_multipolarity_43919
3. S. Kalyanaraman, “Reply to Suchak Patel’s Question – What is the relevance of Russia-India-China (RIC) Trilateral Post-Doklam and Galwan?” January 22, 2021, https://www.idsa.in/askanexpert/russia-india-china-trilateral
4. Alka Acharya, “An Analysis of the Prospects of Trilateral Cooperation in the Light of Experiences of the Trilateral Academic Conferences,” China Report, 44(4) (2008): 387-90. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epdf/10.1177/000944550804400407
5. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No.663,” February 4, 2022, https://www.mea.gov.in/lok-sabha.htm?dtl/34812/question+no663+ric+group
6. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No.663, Annexure-A: Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (FMM),” February 4, 2022, https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/CPV/lu663_01.pdf
7. Institute of Chinese Studies, “Introduction to Russia-India-China Trilateral,” 2023, https://icsin.org/russia-india-china-trilateral-ric
8. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No.663.”
9. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “Press Release of Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers,” September 10, 2020, https://www.mea.gov.in/outoging-visit-detail.htm?32960/Press+Release+of+RussiaIndiaChina+Foreign+Ministers
10. Naveen Srivastava, “Keynote Address at the 18th Russia India China Academic Trilateral Conference,” Online mode, April 22, 2021, https://icsin.org/uploads/2021/07/28/82768d78b862291c992ab2d01fd8ff68.pdf
11. “Press Release on the First Trilateral Academic Conference on China-India-Russia: Challenges of Globalisation and Prospects for Trilateral Cooperation,”‘ China Report, 43(2) (2007): 275-76. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0009445507043002019
12. “PM Concludes Successful Visit to St. Petersburg,” Hindustan Times, July 18, 2006, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/pm-concludes-successful-visit-to-st-petersburg/story-qeauGUZP4bqRMYQUNoyrcN.html
13. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “‘Next Steps in Strategic Partnership with USA’ – Statement by Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” January 13, 2004, https://www.mea.gov.in/Speeches-Statements.htm?dtl/2956/next+steps+in+strategic+partnership+with+usa++statement+by+prime+minister+shri+atal+bihari+vajpayee
14. Vijay Gokhale, “Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary after informal RIC meeting on the margins of G-20 Summit in Osaka,” June 28, 2019, https://www.mea.gov.in/outoging-visit-detail.htm?31517/Transcript+of+Media+Briefing+by+Foreign+Secretary+after+informal+RIC+meeting+on+the
16. Ministry of External Affairs, “EAM’s Opening Remarks at the RIC Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference,” June 23, 2020, https://www.mea.gov.in/Speeches-Statements.htm?dtl/32777/
17. Narendra Modi, “Keynote Address at the 6th Raisina Dialogue (Online),” April 13, 2021, https://www.mea.gov.in/press releases.htm?dtl/33800/Prime_Minister_delivered_an_address_at_the_inaugural_session_of_Raisina_Dialogue_2021
18. Ministry of External Affairs, “EAM’s Opening Remarks at the RIC Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference.
19. Naveen Srivastava, “Keynote Address at the 18th Russia India China Academic Trilateral Conference.
20. Shyam Saran, “Special Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary Mr. Shyam Saran on the eve of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Visit to St. Petersburg for G-8 Summit,” July 15, 2006, https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/ArchivesDetails?id=675
21. Vijay Gokhale, “Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary after informal RIC meeting on the margins of G-20 Summit in Osaka.&rdquo
22. Directorate General of Trade Remedies, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, “Anti-Dumping Cases,” 2023, https://www.dgtr.gov.in/anti-dumping-cases?title=&field_cn_code_value=&field_case_country_value=China&field_type_of_proceeding_value=All&field_case_status_value=All&date_filter%5Bmin%5D%5Bmonth%5D=&date_filter%5Bmin%5D%5Bday%5D=&date_filter%5Bmin%5D%5Byear%5D=&date_filter%5Bmax%5D%5Bmonth%5D=&date_filter%5Bmax%5D%5Bday%5D=&date_filter%5Bmax%5D%5Byear%5D=&save=Search
23. Ministry of External Affairs, “Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China,” November 26, 2021, https://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/34540/Joint+Communique+of+the+18th+Meeting+of+the+Foreign+Ministers+of+the+Russian+Federation+the+Republic+of+India+and+the+Peoples+Republic+of+China
24. Shyam Saran, “Adaptation, not mitigation, should inform India’s climate strategy,” The Indian Express, March 6, 2021, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/climate-change-cop-un-convention-paris-climate-agreement-7216163/
25. Ishaan Gera and Shilpa Samant, “India’s solar imports from China down nearly 80% by $2 billion in H1 2023: Ember,” The Economic Times, September 14, 2023, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/indias-solar-imports-from-china-down-nearly-80-by-2-billion-in-h1-2023-ember/articleshow/103667346.cms
26. Uma Purushothaman, “Why RIC is as important to India as JAI and BRICS,” Observer Research Foundation, December 2018, https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/why-ric-is-as-important-to-india-as-jai-and-brics-46213/
27. S. Jaishankar, “Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at the 18th Meeting of RIC Foreign Ministers.”
28. Jabin T. Jacob, “India, China and the Coming US Drawdown in Afghanistan: A Choice of Dilemmas,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 49, No. 14 (April 5, 2014), 24-27, https://www.epw.in/journal/2014/14/commentary/india-china-and-coming-us-drawdown-afghanistan.html
29. Mohammad Yunus Yawar and Charlotte Greenfield, “China becomes first to name new Afghan ambassador under Taliban,” Reuters, September 13, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-say-chinese-envoy-appointed-kabul-first-ambassadorial-appointment-since-2023-09-13/
30. S. Jaishankar, “Opening remarks by External Affairs Minister at the 16th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia-India-China,” February. 27, 2019, https://www.mea.gov.in/outoging-visit-detail.htm?31096/Opening+remarks+by+External+Affairs+Minister+at+the+16th+Meeting+of+the+Foreign+Ministers+of+RussiaIndiaChina+RIC
31. Sushma Swaraj, “Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at 14th RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting, Moscow,” April 18, 2016, https://www.mea.gov.in/Speeches-Statem ents.htm?dtl/26626
32. Ministry of External Affairs, “Brief on BRICS. MER Division,” August 2023, https://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/BriefonBRICS2023.pdf
33. Ministry of External Affairs, “Brief on Shanghai Cooperation Organization. SCO Division,” https://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/SCO_Brief_September_2022.pdf
34. Ministry of External Affairs, “Brief on BRICS. MER Division,” August 2023.
35. Meena Singh Roy, “India and the SCO,” in The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: India Seeking New Role in the Eurasian Regional Mechanism. Monograph Series No. 34, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, 2014, https://idsa.in/system/files/monograph34.pdf
36. Satish Kumar, S.D. Pradhan, Kanwal Sibal, Rahul Bedi and Bidisha Ganguly, India’s Strategic Partners: A Comparative Assessment (New Delhi: Foundation of National Security Research, 2011). https://indianstrategicknowledgeonline.com/web/Indias_Strategic.pdf
37. S. Jaishankar, The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World (New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2022).
38. G20 Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration,” Outcome Documents, September 9-10, 2023, https://www.g20.org/content/dam/gtwenty/gtwenty_new/document/G20-New-Delhi-Leaders-Declaration.pdf
39. Ken Moritsugu, “China calls Russia its chief ‘strategic partner’ despite war,” AP News, March 7, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-europe-global-trade-wang-yi-26278cf4ea0a1f9ab6264593aedba66c
40. G20 Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, “G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration.”