• 042-35941921, UAN: 03-111-999-101
  • info@kipscss.net

China Calling ‘We Won’t Pick Sides’

  • KIPS CSS Admin
  • May, 2019
  • 248
  • Subcontinent strife

BEIJING IS ON THE BRINK OF BEING SUCKED INTO THE NEW DELHI-ISLAMABAD QUAGMIRE, AND ALTHOUGH TENSIONS HAVE SIMMERED, THE KASHMIR REGION COULD STILL SEE A BATTLE OF WITS

About this content: This website is entirely supported by the Global News Service (globalagemagazine.kipscss.net/). The journalism and other content are editorially independent and its purpose is to focus on news and analysis. The site is editorially independent of any sponsorship. Unless otherwise stated, all statements and materials posted on the site, including any statements regarding specific laws, reflect the views of the Global News Service alone.

Ben Westcott and Steven Jiang in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China

Diplomatic relations between longtime rivals India and Pakistan reached their lowest point in this year, after Pakistan claimed its air force shot down two Indian jets over the disputed border Kashmir region, capturing one pilot.

That came a day after the Indian military said it had launched airstrikes against a terror camp in Pakistan, the first such incursion by Indian air forces since the India-Pakistan war of 1971.

It is never just that China shares a border with the contested region of Kashmir − Beijing also has important links with both Islamabad and New Delhi that it needs to balance.

China has close economic, diplomatic and military ties with Pakistan, making it one of the nation’s closest allies in the region.

WHY HUNTING TRADING TEAMMATES?

Meanwhile, China’s long-running trade war with Washington has forced Beijing to look for other trading partners. As a result, China has started rebuilding relations with rising power India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last year Mr. Modi made two visits to China.

In February, China’s Foreign Ministry called for both Pakistan and India to ‘maintain self-restraint and focus on regional peace and stability’.

In an urgent call, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to play ‘a constructive role in easing the current tensions’.

During the call, Mr. Yi stressed that ‘the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, and China does not want to see the acts that violate the norms of international relations’.

But the escalation this week has put Beijing in an awkward position.

‘They have to do something to show that they are helping to keep things under control, while never appearing unreliable as Pakistan’s ally,’ he added.

WHERE NEW DELHI STANDS NOW?

But Beijing never wants to overplay its support of Islamabad and push New Delhi into the arms of President Donald Trump.

Adding to China’s problems is the fact India claims it was striking back against terrorists in Kashmir.

Chinese experts say the country’s best option is to join Americans in working to ease the tensions between Pakistanis and Indians.

In July 2017, for example, there was a heated month-long territorial stand-off between Chinese and Indian troops in Doklam, near the borders of India, China and Bhutan.

The situation is much clearer for China across the border. Pakistan is a longtime friend and trading partner of Beijing, described by Chinese diplomats as enjoying an ‘all-weather friendship’ with the country.

Islamabad is also one of the largest buyers of Beijing’s weapons. Between 2008 and 2017, Islamabad bought more than $6 billion of arms, says think tank of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. It has never all been easy sailing, however. Questions have been raised about the large debts Pakistan is have added up as a result of Chinese government loans and infrastructure.

BEIJING BEFRIENDING CAN BEAR FRUIT?

But Prime Minister Imran Khan has been determined to keep the special relationship with Beijing stronger. ‘We need to use China as an inspiration to lift our people out of poverty,’ he says.

There is also a sense that this crisis went worse with little warning. The Kashmir dispute has continued with repeated shootings across the Line of Control, punctuated by larger-scale terrorist outrages, but there was never prior intelligence of a major terrorist attack on Indian army recruits, let alone one large enough to force warplanes to fly across the frontier.

Ultimately though, it may be the existence of nuclear weapons that pulls the two countries back, rather than outside intervention. With an army more than twice as large, backed by superior weaponry and with an economy 8.5 times the size of Pakistan, India can strike hard. But military analysts say this imbalance means Pakist...

Share on facebook or twitter

Email to a friend