The Platform


The world continues to see undemocratic trends in China, North Korea, and Russia. While North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un is almost unparalleled in a class of his own, having perpetrated horrific barbarities upon his countrymen, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are doing their best to outshine him.

The war in Ukraine continues unabated with no end in sight; China is at loggerheads with Taiwan, India, and Japan; and tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul are at their highest in years.

China’s aggressive assertions in the Indo-Pacific particularly over the South China Sea is a major challenge to the international community. North Korea’s continuing ballistic missile tests not only threaten the security of South Korea but have also rattled the United States, Japan, and Australia.

In Ukraine, Russia’s goal to restore its former Soviet glory has become an exercise in failed military strategy highlighted by countless war crimes. Likewise, Beijing aspires to upstage the U.S. to become an unquestioned global hegemon but the effort has been unsteady. In the same vein, Pyongyang also has a deep-seated desire to challenge the U.S. which many experts predict would fail but not before the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Koreans on both sides of the border.

Precariously, Russia, China, and North Korea are becoming more closely aligned with each other out of their shared animosity toward the United States.

However, given Russia’s failed effort to conquer all of Ukraine, it might be wise for the West to reassess what China and North Korea are militarily capable of.

While the United States and Europe should up to a point be concerned about this new emerging axis, it is also important to put it into context. Ukraine has shown Russia to be a paper tiger; due to a lack of transparency, China could be as well; as for North Korea, with a population that is malnourished, would its army of 950,000 be a capable fighting force?

So while at the moment things seem bleak, perhaps they aren’t as dire as we’re told.

Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi is a professor of political science at MDPG College, Pratapgarh. His book, 'NAM and India in 2012' was published in 2001 and his 'India’s Foreign Policy: Dilemma over Nor Alignment 2.0,' was published in 2020. Besides his academic interests, Sudhanshu actively participates in social movements. Sudhanshu organized a rally in 2011 against corruption in New Delhi.