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Opinion

Is relation with China and Pakistan getting sour?

 The relationship between China and Pakistan is nothing but a weak amalgamation of selfish motives. Pakistan needs China’s support so it can continue its proxy-war against India without being chastised on the world stage, and China needs Pakistan so it can keep India distracted on the Western front while it can concentrate on its territorial expansion elsewhere.

When two nations have absolutely nothing in common – like China and Pakistan – an alliance is at best feeble. Pakistan is a decrepit economy while China is an economic superpower. Pakistan funds terrorism while China itself is a victim of terrorism. Pakistan is a Muslim-majority nation while China is continuously imposing restrictions on the freedom of Muslims. There is nothing in history that links the two nations either. And it seems that there are some issues arising in their alliance.

Recently, two Chinese citizens were kidnapped in Balochistan and later killed. This lead to Xi expressing his displeasure at the Pakistani government’s inability to keep Chinese workers safe on its land. There was another incident where a Chinese businessman was beaten up by a Pakistani when a business deal went south.

The discontentment of the Chinese President was on display in Astana where the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit was being held. Xi Jinping openly snubbed Nawaz Sharif. He didn’t even meet him on the sidelines of the summit.

This brush off by the Chinese President is significant in context of his other meets. Even though he didn’t meet the leader of his ‘all-weather’ ally, he did meet our Prime Minister on the sidelines.Moreover, the state-run media in China emphasised Xi’s meetings with Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are highly concerned,” said Hua Chunying who’s the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson. China had “always been advising Chinese citizens to not visit highly risky regions,” she added.

This incident of the killings of Chinese teachers has vindicated Prime Minister Modi’s long-lasting stand on the threat of terrorism and how Pakistan is a perpetrator of the same.

China will talk tough with Pakistan behind closed doors, but I don’t think it’s going to change its strategy of backing Pakistan-sponsored terrorism on the international stage. The hypocrisy is there to stay.

China has made huge investments in Pakistan and a lot more has to come. It can’t back out of the CPEC as the costs would be incredibly high. On the other hand, Pakistan won’t change its policy of breeding terrorism either. China will have to deal and live with the violence that Pakistan backs which would mean further casualties to Chinese nationals living in Pakistan. Without a doubt, China is in this too deep, and irrespective of the benefits that it’ll attain from its investments, the costs are also bound to rise drastically.


Vinayak Jain

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