On the occasion of the continued fermentation of Kashmir, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited China on August 9th. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar began his visit to China for three days on August 11. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Su Jiesheng on August 12, and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan also met Su Jiesheng on August 12. This is the situation in South Asia after the air battle between India and Pakistan in February.
Unlike the dispute between the last crisis and India and Pakistan, the change in the management of India-controlled Kashmir has involved disputes between China, India and Pakistan. On the one hand, Pakistan has asked China to preside over justice, and on the other hand, China is facing a dispute with India. The role and situation of Beijing is very complicated.
Although Wang Yi directly indicated to Su Jiesheng that China is opposed to any unilateral action that complicates the situation. However, as Wang Qishan said, in recent years, under the joint leadership of the leaders of the two countries, cooperation in various fields has developed in depth, and China-Indian relations have maintained a good momentum. Wang Yi also said that China and India, as the major developing countries and emerging economies in the world with more than 1 billion people, are at a new stage of development. It is foreseeable that China will not reignite the border territorial dispute between China and India for the situation in Kashmir. The increasingly international situation of China-US structural contradictions has also increased China’s tolerance for India’s provocative actions. This is also the reason why the second meeting of the China-India high-level exchange mechanism was carried out as usual after the India-controlled Kashmir incident.
However, Beijing’s starting point for considering the situation is not just India’s role in the world. Beijing should also consider how to face Pakistan, a quasi-alliance country that has always trusted Beijing. The more important test is how to make the regional situation fundamentally long-term.
Pakistan: China’s fulcrum to incite changes in the situation in South Asia
South Asia has always been India’s sphere of influence. Pakistan has chosen to cooperate with China because of its strategic needs against India. For a long time, China and Pakistan share common interests in strategic security. In recent years, Pakistan has taken a disadvantage in the regional power game. Basically, the gap between economic strength and India has gradually widened. Pakistan is not willing to accept India’s strong bilateral relations. It hopes that external forces will check and balance India. There have been disputes with India in the past, and Pakistan will send personnel to visit China for help. After the outbreak of the Kashmir crisis, Pakistan made the same decision – to visit China for help.
The well-known fact is that Pakistan is unable to deal with the disputes with India, and major countries including China no longer have the basis for mediating India-Pakistan relations. India is operating in India, and there is no room for intervention by other parties. The situation in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region will largely disappear. Pakistan’s request for assistance, if it is understood by Beijing, cannot be resolved. If it is ignored, it will disappoint Pakistan.
Pakistan is the fulcrum of China’s incitement to the situation in South Asia. It is the entry point for the “Belt and Road” to open up South Asia. Pakistan’s support is the key to the success and gradual expansion of the “Belt and Road” initiative in South Asia. Without Pakistan, there will be no success in the South Asia. Although Beijing cannot meet the mediation needs of Pakistan, it also needs to appease Pakistan and stabilize Pakistan’s confidence in China from real interests and other aspects, convincing Pakistan to focus on the overall situation.
If you do not unite with India, you cannot occupy a favorable position in the global game. Without appease Pakistan, it will not be able to successfully implement Beijing’s most important global proposition, the “Belt and Road”. The Kashmir crisis seems to be another fermentation of the old problems in the region. In essence, the situation facing this crisis is different. China-Pakistan relations continue to approach, from military security to the economy, and cooperation continues to deepen. China-Indian relations have also gradually stepped out of the atmosphere of confrontation. China has the practical need to deal with relations with India and Pakistan at the same time.
How to cure chaos
The Kashmir dispute was a legacy of the colonial era. Now India’s change in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region is the driving force behind the change in the regional situation, and the other two parties have to deal with it. But how to fundamentally resolve this dispute involving the three parties in China, India and Pakistan? After all, the solution to the territorial dispute cannot be that the parties have taken turns to escalate the situation.
China and India certainly hope to resolve the border disputes. The dissolution of territorial disputes between India and Pakistan is the foundation of peace and stability in the relations between the two countries. Sometimes it is the national factors such as national sentiments and elections that affect territorial disputes. At the same time, territorial disputes cannot be resolved because of changes in the international pattern.
The reason why the Diaoyu Islands disputes in the past few years has been four times is that after China’s economic strength gradually caught up with Japan, the Japanese national sentiment exploded. Nowadays, the disputes between the Chinese and Japanese Diaoyu Islands are gradually subsiding. Basically, the contrast between China and Japan’s national strength is gradually widening. Japan has psychologically acknowledged the rise of China. By the same token, the China-Indian territorial dispute cannot be resolved. The fundamental reason is that both China and India are emerging powers, and the development momentum of the two countries and domestic nationalist sentiments are flourishing. The territorial dispute between India and Pakistan is influenced by ethnic and religious factors, as well as interference from multiple factors such as the development of deficits and trust deficits.
From this level, it is not Beijing that is not willing to offend India, so it is restrained on the Kashmir issue; nor is Beijing’s ability to mediate India-Pakistan conflicts, so there is nothing to do. It is useless to talk about territorial disputes in territorial disputes alone, and to focus on preventing any party from inciting the situation is also a temporary solution.
The human destiny community proposed by Beijing has three levels of construction: first, the community of destiny between countries; secondly, the community of destiny between countries and regions and international organizations; and the third level is the community of human destiny. Beijing has repeatedly proposed the China-Pakistan destiny community. This is the first level. China and South Asia and Southeast Asia’s destiny community belong to the second level and are an important part of the Asian destiny community.
In the final analysis, Kashmir needs to use development to bridge the religious rift, eliminate the hotbed of terrorism and use development to bridge the trust deficit. When China, India and Pakistan truly become a community of development and a community of destiny, territorial disputes will be solved. A big change in the environment can solve many small problems. Representation can sometimes incite the overall situation, but the overall change is the root of solving specific problems. Beijing ignores specific issues and chooses to promote the overall situation.