South Asia and Beyond

‘Beijing Has Turned Its Back On UNSC Reforms’

Dr Michael Fullilove caused a bit of a stir when he joked at a session of the just concluded 9th edition of the Raisina Dialogue, that perhaps the composition of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council should be based on the country’s International Cricket Council rankings. Dr Fullilove, is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, a premier Australian think tank.

In an interview with StratNews Global on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue, Dr Fullilove explained why UNSC reforms “always seems to get stalled.” According to him, “It’s bonkers that the UK and France both sit on the Security Council but India doesn’t, Indonesia doesn’t.”

He said a major obstacle to expanding the Security Council was that certain countries in South Asia and Latin America, don’t want their regional rivals to join the UNSC.” No one wants to see their neighbours promoted.” On top of that China, a UNSC Permanent Member, has “turned away” from reforms. “Which is a shame” given that China projects itself as a leader of the global South, and should be open to the Idea of India joining the council.

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Talking about Australia’s increasing outreach to India, after initially being hesitant over needling China, he said “China is becoming an ambitious and quite aggressive great power, so naturally that is bit of a spur,” but there are also long standing commonalities between India and Australia which have “been waiting to mature.” Apart from both being democracies, they share cultural affinities “without the historical baggage” despite India having a “different worldview.”

To understand his views on the Quad (a grouping of the US, Australia, Japan and India), ‘Which is on the up and up”, why China “wouldn’t want to join the Quad,” and why it is not a way to bring India into the Western camp (‘Coz that will never happen”), watch the full interview.