Prime Minister Modi has secured a path-breaking diplomatic victory with his informal visit to China that was taken pretty well across the Chinese leadership and media. PM Modi’s visit was not aimed at securing a particular agreement or any agenda, it was a confidence building measure between the two countries and that seems to have worked wonders. As per a latest Republic TV report, China has snubbed Pakistan and has joined hands with India for a major economic project in Afghanistan.
This historic move settles for once and for all, the myth of China’s unconditional support and friendship with Pakistan. Pakistan has always opposed and feared India’s presence in Afghanistan. However, Chinese attitude suggests that it does not care for Pakistan and its interests. China has explicitly backed India and its presence in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been left bewildered by this diplomatic turnaround. Cornered by aggressive diplomacy and military counteroffensive ever since the Modi government came at the helm of affairs, it has solely relied on Chinese support in order to hit back at India. With this milestone move, Pakistan has been left diplomatically isolated. In face of India’s growing global and economic emergence, Pakistan has nowhere to go.
However, it seems that Pakistani experts are either living in a world of their own or are merely trying to deny the harsh reality. They have stated that China is an all weather friend and their relationship with China is time-tested. Pakistan has been left red faced after this landmark development but they have no choice but to remain in denial. While Pakistanis are talking of China being an all weather friend, China’s attitude has been far from that of a strategic partner as far as Pakistan is concerned. In fact, this is not for the first time that Chinese have ignored Pakistan’s interests even as it came at loggerheads with India. Last year, at the United Nations General Assembly session also, China had refused to rescue Pakistan in a dire situation. When taken to task by India at the session and referred to as terroristan, Pakistan had sought China’s support. However, Chinese delegation had bluntly told Pakistan to fend for itself and resolve the Kashmir issue by itself with India. This was the first indication of China giving a cold shoulder to its ‘all-weather-friend’. It has only been corroborated by the present move.
Pakistan has itself to blame for its over-dependence on Chinese help. India has emerged in a big way on the world stage and even China cannot take India for granted. It seems Pakistanis have made a major diplomatic blunder by expecting the Chinese to counter India’s influence. Prime Minister Modi’s recent Chinese visit has cleared the air. The way Chinese media rallied behind him, president Xi Jinping went out of his way to receive Prime Minister Modi and host him on his “informal visit” and even the PLA rallied behind the euphoria created by the visit, made it clear that Chinese have decided not to cross swords with India. In fact, India is speaking from a position of strength. After the Doklam stand-off and major embarrassment for Chinese vessels at the hands it Indian Navy, it understood that strength and boldness are India’s new normal. After the resolution of Korean conflict and American pressure, it became even more inevitable for China to treat India as an equal ally.
While Pakistan was a mere strategic prop for China, good relations with India are a diplomatic compulsion. China can afford to, and is taking Pakistani government for granted but warm relations with India is a necessity for China. In fact, China agrees that closer economic relationship with India is the topmost agenda for China in its engagements with India.