China aims to thaw frosty India, Pakistan ties

Published: October 12, 2016


BEIJING: A senior official of China’s foreign ministry voiced hope on Tuesday that tensions between Pakistan and India will defuse after the upcoming summit of five emerging economic powers in a western Indian state later this month.

India’s decision to seal Pakistan border irrational: Chinese experts

China’s President Xi Jinping will travel to Goa to attend the 8th summit of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — which will be held on October 15 and 16. The Chinese leader would also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“China is concerned at rising tensions between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue,” Xiao Qian of the Department of Asian Affairs told a group of senior Pakistani journalists in Beijing on Tuesday. “China will try to normalise strained relations between Pakistan and India,” he added. He said the two countries should resolve the festering dispute through dialogue. “China appreciates Pakistan’s commitment to dialogue with India.”

Tensions have been running high between Pakistan and India since the Sept 18 deadly attack on an Indian military base in Uri, in the disputed Himalayan state. New Delhi whipped up war hysteria, especially after conducting self-styled surgical strikes in the Pakistani side of Kashmir — a claim strongly denied by Islamabad.

India striving to promote military ties with China

“Pakistan and India should shun the talk of war,” Xiao said. However, he reiterated his country’s assurance that it would stand by Pakistan in every situation. He admitted that durable normalisation might not be possible without resolving the festering dispute which Pakistan describes as the real bone of contention with India.

On the Afghan peace process, the Chinese official said that Beijing tried to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the Kabul administration — but the process was suspended following the killing of Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. Mansoor was killed in a US drone strike in Balochistan while he was returning from neighbouring Iran on May 21, 2016.

China was part of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group that also involved Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. However, the quartet process has been on hold since the killing of Mullah Mansoor as his successor, Maulvi Hibatullah Akhunzada, has refused to pursue talks with Kabul.

With reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Xiao said India had some objections to the multibillion-dollar project because it would pass through Gilgit-Baltistan region, but Beijing was committed to completing the massive road and rail link irrespective. “China’s message to India is that CPEC will improve the Kashmir region as well as people’s [lifestyle] there,” he added.

Since balance of trade is tilted highly in favour of Beijing, he said China was investing in Pakistan so that Pakistan could also reap economic benefits. The purpose of CPEC was to increase foreign investments in Pakistan. “After Lahore, industrial parks will also be built in Karachi, Islamabad and Gwadar,” he added. “An economically strong Pakistan will ensure balance of power in the region.”

Meanwhile, Chinese experts criticised India’s decision to completely seal its western border with Pakistan as ‘very irrational’, according to the Times of India. On Friday, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan would be ‘completely sealed’ by December 2018.

China’s straight talk leaves India reeling

Chinese experts said it would further complicate already tense India-China relations considering Beijing’s ‘all-weather’ strategic ties with Islamabad.

“India is making a very irrational decision, since no exhaustive investigation has been conducted after the last month’s Uri incident [in Indian-held Kashmir], and no evidence proves Pakistan is behind the attack,” the Global Times quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow from the official think tank Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy, as saying.

“A completely sealed border would further hinder the already scarce border trade and talks between the two countries. The country’s decision reflects its Cold War mentality, and would only cause deeper hatred among residents living in Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir,” Hu added.

Another expert, Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies, said, “A sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides [India and Pakistan].”

Experts share the view that India’s decision would make China-Pakistan-India relations more complicated. “But a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute is in the interest of China’s homeland security, especially its western regions,” Hu said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Azhar Masood
    Oct 12, 2016 - 9:47AM

    “China aims to thaw frosty India, Pakistan ties”
    On whose behalf, Pakistan’s. Then OK.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Oct 12, 2016 - 10:19AM

    China is no USA…India does not have Pakistan problem but Muslim problem as it was in 1947, as it was or is in Chechnya or as was in Burma or as it was in Solvania. It is same Muslim problem which was rightly identified by Trump and Trump a non politician playboy business a non Republicican became nomiee of Republican party. Trump may not win but many states will vote for him and regular politician will carry it forward. India Pakistan has same problem which China it self has and not letting any masjid can not be built without without prior approval. INDIA HAS MUSLIM PROBLEM LIKE ANY OTHER NON MUSLIM COUNTRY IN WORLD WHICH HAS MUSLIM.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Oct 12, 2016 - 11:35AM

    I do not think anyone in Pakistan or China has taken the trouble of reading the Simla Agreement which specifically calls for bilateral talks to resolve all issues. Such contempt for international norms and treaties by both Pakistan as also China by its recent actions in the South China sea is very dangerous because India also holds some very strong cards and can reciprocate similar abuse of Treaties. India is unlikely to accept the role of middlemen in its dealings with other countries.Recommend

  • Dessi
    Oct 12, 2016 - 12:36PM

    I was reading a Chinese story today. Muslim parents have been forbidden to teach Islam to thrir children. There are criminal sentencing if parents do otherwise. Just Google it folksRecommend

  • Reddy
    Oct 12, 2016 - 12:44PM

    pakistanis are getting desperate and delusional,hanging on to even the slightest crumbs from their chinese masters …no country in the world cud influence us do what we do not want to do…forget china even US cudn’t push india beyond certain point..but this incessant ramblings from china tells something else here..china is worried abt something else here Recommend

  • Milind
    Oct 12, 2016 - 1:11PM

    Pakistan is now rushing to China to mediate and save them.. Earlier it was US.Recommend

  • Whatacountry
    Oct 12, 2016 - 1:50PM

    We have a passive and submissive Foreign Minister who doesn’t act but wants others to do his job and that is we are in this state. Recommend

  • Anwar
    Oct 12, 2016 - 3:31PM

    Pakistan have enough fire power to answer India.Recommend

  • HZR
    Oct 12, 2016 - 9:41PM

    Gilgit-Baltistan region, but Beijing was committed to completing the massive road and rail link irrespective…the answer is in this statement.It does not want troubled Pak India relations so that it can complete the road and move its goods to other nations using Pakistan as a transit corridor.How does that benefit Pakistan and has Pakistan thought about it.Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Oct 13, 2016 - 12:54AM

    Hope China mends it’s relationship with USA. Japan,Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam with the same zeal. Recommend

  • curious2
    Oct 13, 2016 - 2:46AM

    Kinda like N Korea asking to help mediate Kashmir dispute – not very meaningful. Recommend

  • psm
    Oct 13, 2016 - 7:18AM

    China is worried about its investment in CPEC and wants to protect the same. If it seeks a negotiated settlement with India, rest assured that it will keep its own interests ahead of Pak. Pakistanis need to aware before they actively canvas for China’s intervention.
    Besides, as China in the past has shown total disdain for any treaty it enters with other states or on rulings of International bodies citing its national interest, India will ignore this uncalled for Intervention as it itself is against Shimla Agreement. Recommend

  • komal s
    Oct 13, 2016 - 9:12AM

    Okay some peon official in China foreign office briefs Pakistani journalist. Anyway, Pakistan has to realize peace with India goes thru Delhi and not Beijing. Mark my words, China will agree to India being part of NSG, hold strong on Masood azhar. Pakistan can celebrate the victory for Masood. What a nation!Recommend

  • tatvavetta
    Oct 13, 2016 - 10:46AM

    Pakistan is clearly hegemonic to China. Part of Kashmir was donated to China. Assets at
    Gwadar and parts of Balochistan, Fata are leased to China. Now even foreign policy of Pakistan is decided by ChinaRecommend

  • AD
    Oct 13, 2016 - 12:28PM

    China can reserve its piece of sermon for its new colony I.e Pakistan. Recommend

  • psm
    Oct 13, 2016 - 1:11PM

    Things may not be bad if that happens. India has to deal with only China then for both Chinese and Pak affairs. Whatever deal China makes with India reg Pak, China will gaurantee that Pak is bound by it.Recommend

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