Pakistan Anxious as India-China Discuss CPEC and Afghanistan

Should Pakistan be worried about the warming India-China ties? As PM Modi and President Xi meet to discuss India-China ties, CPEC and Afghanistan issues, is Pakistan getting anxious? China and Pakistan have, in recent times, not been seeing eye to eye on matters that involve India-China, will this impact the relations between the two nations? Here’s the recent development on the India-China ties, as reported in the South China Morning Post.

The PM of India and President of China were scheduled to meet to discuss multiple issues including the India-China ties, CPEC, Afghanistan and more. However, prior to this India-China meet, top officials from China met the FM of Pakistan to discuss important matters at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in China. A Chinese diplomat stated, post the meet, that China-Pakistan were fully ready to cooperate and together carry out the ‘historical mission’ of ‘national rejuvenation’. The Pak FM voiced the same opinion, calling China Pak’s ‘iron brother’.

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Will the ‘Iron Brothers’ be affected by India-China cooperation?

China and Pakistan have been on the same page on most issues and occasions, ever since the treaty signed between the two nations in 1963, for mutual cooperation. The CPEC and BRI initiative by China are highly profitable for Pakistan. This is a milestone project marking the China-Pakistan bilateral ties. Souring Pak-US ties and a rift with Japan and India in South Asia has made the two countries even stronger allies.

However, the Pakistan-China ties have had its own fair share of ups and downs; a significant blow being China withdrawing its opposition from the US-led move at the Financial Action Task Force, an international watchdog for money laundering. Pakistan has however been reassured that the warming India-China ties and the Modi-Xi summit will not impact the former ties.

An observer from the US stated that:

“I’m sure there’s a bit of unease among the Pakistani military brass about this summit and the apparent detente. Still, the military won’t be overly concerned, as it will conclude – rightly so, in my view – that China very much remains in Pakistan’s orbit, regardless of this new India-China warming period that could well prove short-lived”

Pakistan is thus anxious about the outcome of the India-China meet; especially regarding the disputes in Kashmir.

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What is the India-China Summit all about?

The India-China summit, led by PM Modi and President Xi is focused on discussing the many issues that affect the India-China ties like CPEC, Afghanistan and more. The Indian media is concerned about their nation compromising on the resolution of opposition to the BRI projects, to be operated from the PoK region.

As reported in The Indian Express, a Delhi based observer stated that:

“Delhi has said it is open to consultations with China on the development of regional trans-border infrastructure. Beijing, in turn, has apparently floated a number of new proposals for Delhi’s consideration. These include the extension of the CPEC to India, promoting connectivity across the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim and other places. If it has the will, China should not find it too hard to address India’s concerns on sovereignty on Kashmir”

However, it is unlikely that Pakistan will agree to such measures.

On the other hand, India-Pakistan will jointly carry out counter-terrorism military exercises in Russia, under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This military exercise is scheduled for September 2018. It is a multi-nation military exercise and all SCO member nations will participate. This is the first time since independence that Pakistan and India will come together for a joint military exercise, apart from the cooperation in the UN peacekeeping drills.

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