India-Pakistan
International Relations

Diplomatic stand of China on India-Pakistan Crisis

The recent India-Pakistan crisis was a spark that engulfed the whole international community inside it in an instant and Beijing was no different. However, being the mutual neighbour of both the countries, China’s stand had a strategic importance imbibed in it.

 

China has close economic, diplomatic and military ties with Pakistan, making it one of the nation’s closest allies in the region. Still, China had a diplomatic stand towards the India-Pakistan issue. So, the question that arises here is, why China does not want to be caught up in the middle of the India-Pakistan issue.

China had a diplomatic stand towards the India-Pakistan issue. Why?Click To Tweet

 

Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London, said there was no benefit to China on any front if tensions between India and Pakistan spiralled. The mass detention of Muslim majority Uyghurs in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang by the Chinese government is one of Beijing’s most controversial international policies — and justified by China’s government on the grounds that it is an essential measure in combating terrorism. “They don’t want to be too hard on India, because they’re acting in response to terrorism,” Tsang said.

 

Why India Is Important for China?

 

China’s long-running trade war with the US has forced Beijing to look for alternative trading partners. As a result, China has started to rebuild ties with rival rising power India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. China exports approximately $58 billion in an amount to India and is routing to establish India as a strategic trade partner. And India having a huge population and demands can be a saviour for their trade.

Both are members of the BRICS grouping of emerging economies, which is now establishing a formal lending arm, the New Development Bank, to be based in China’s financial hub of Shanghai and to be headed by a senior Indian banker. India also was a founding member of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which plans to be formally established by year’s end and seeks to emulate institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

In WTO, BRICS, AIIB, India and China have together took a strong stand against USA and western economies which has helped them to grow very well. Being the two most powerful nations of Asia, it is very important for both the countries to work together against the Western policies and develop the third nations.

China is proactively working on One Belt One Road (OBOR), which is an initiative in China’s major policy framework with which it expects to address Security threats, long term economic benefits and reducing America’s threat to tread lifelines. However, for all this to happen India becomes an important part to give its consent since China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) moves from disputed Kashmir and requires India’s consent as per UN guidelines.

With India having international allies like the USA, Japan, Russia etc. , it is very clear for China that growing India is a better ally than an enemy.

Despite their rivalries, the two countries have played up their cultural links-such as the importation of Buddhism into China by wandering Chinese monks more than 1,500 years ago and have found ample room for economic cooperation.

 

Why Pakistan is Important for China?

 

In the past decades, China has grown rapidly (faster than any country), however, now the growth is getting slower. In 2019, China has predicted growth of 6% to 6.5%, after factoring in a slew of headwinds, including the trade war with the U.S., and financial bottlenecks for its private enterprises. This makes it mandatory for China to invest outside the country and Pakistan is that investment. And a nation which it can keep under its control.

The CPEC initiative is helping Pakistan in developing its infrastructure and bring development to the masses. At the same time, China is getting support for its trade, economy and energy security by loaning the amount.

>>Importance of CPEC for both China and Pakistan

Another goal of China is to have access to the vast markets of Central Asia for its goods. China also has to keep its energy highway open, with an alternate route to the Indian Ocean. OBOR again makes Pakistan equally important for its international agenda.

The rapid economic growth experienced by China and India has resulted in an increase in competition for global resources and investment opportunities. Unsurprisingly, the abundance of natural resources in Africa has made the continent a hotspot for Chinese and Indian economic activity.

Pakistan, having a strategic seat in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), can effectively shield China in the issues related to the detention of Muslims in China and get benefitted in terms of Central Asia trades.

India is growing regional power in South Asia and Pakistan is the biggest competitor for India. Hence, China making a friend of Pakistan gives tactical leverage. Moreover, it also helps to strengthen China’s stand-in the Indian Ocean in addition to the String of Pearls.

 

Conclusion:

India with continuous outperforming growth and a superb demographic dividend is clearly a very important space for the world. With current geopolitical scenarios and the firm stand of India in this international space clearly states that even a country like China cannot afford to have a bitter relationship with India.

It isn’t just that China shares a border with the contested region of Kashmir, Beijing also has important links with both Pakistan and India that it needs to balance. “China cannot afford to be seen as failing Pakistan, but at the same time I don’t think the Chinese really want to pick a fight with the Indians over this,” –China. 

Hence, China is standing on a diplomatic front in India-Pakistan issue. By not speaking in the relationship of India-Pakistan, China is maintaing both the fruitful relationships.

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