By Jawad Ahmed*
China is certainly the major growing economy of the World in current times, unfortunately, the US feels threatened by the growth which China attained. This is the reason US’s narrative towards the China has changed over the past few years. On the other hand, China is not in any mood of the confrontation with the US and maturely dealt with every aggressive stance by America.
US adopted stance of Indo Pacific during the tenure of Donald Trump aiming the build-up of India to counter China. The concept behind this was to present India a major power in this part of the World, word India Pacific was supposed to be Indian Ocean and major Indian connection in the region. On the other hand, Pakistan is carrying its economic and strategic engagement with China despite of clear opposition form the US and India.
Looking into the evolving aspects of the globalization, one can say that the fulcrum of growth has once again shifted from West to the East and this century is going to be the Asian century. Interestingly, in this Asian century India is aligning with the Western world with complete separation from its past legacy of non-alignment.
After what happened in Ladakh in July 2020, there is a question whether India can stand against China in the region? The answer is no. India cannot match China both in economy and in strategic terms. This is a new kind of tensions in which the World is entering as China and US and India and China are more entangled in economic ties which US and USSR lacked in the cold war era. The world is witnessing a new crisp cross of geo-economics and geopolitics.
Democracy Summit which was organised in the US, US went in a kind of ideological divide of international countries in which it invited democratic countries and neglected China from the major event. US invited Taiwan in provocation of China and India with having a worst track record of democratic values under Modi government.
US wanted India in the role of regional policeman to counter China but it seems difficult with the presence of BJP government which is supporting the right wing Hindus. Indian Christian community got attacked by Hindu extremists during their celebrations of Christmas on Dec 25. Sikhs has been facing the same fate in India which has now resulted in Khalistan movement referendum of which is going on. Indian government is doing all efforts to suspend this referendum results of which will be shared with the UN and other international organizations. This stance of Sikh community is result of hatred policies which are being carried out in India. This is unfortunate that Indian PM Narendar Modi never issued a single statement in condemning violence being carried out on the minorities in India.
Recently, Pakistan announced acquiring a fleet of J-10C aircrafts from China, these aircrafts will be displayed during flyover on the occasion of 23rd March Parade. J-10 is going to be an important addition for Pakistan, specifically with regards to countering threats from India and to match Rafale jet which India is procuring from France. Acquiring J-10 jets is being said as the best possible option for Pakistan on the cards considering what is happening geopolitically and geo strategically in the region.
Few months ago, Lt Gen Manoj Pandey kept on shouting out loud that J-10C have been parked in three of the airbases on the Chinese side. This means, India obviously have to equate that. Right now, India is busy installing S-400 missile system in Indian Punjab that it purchased from Russia to keep strategic deterrent towards China and Pakistan. We can say that, India is in the state of puzzle because if China puts on J-10C over there and Pakistan have J-10C here, then it would be difficult for the Rafale to tackle both. On strategic front India has to face two front war, prior to Gulwan conflict
One can conclude that despite of US opposition of Chinese One Belt One Road (OBOR) which is more of economic venture than strategic, China wanted healthy economic competition as any conflict is also not in its favour. India with the presence of BJP government is facing an internal fragmentation than achieving its ambitious goals of regional hegemon. Pakistan has a golden opportunity of getting maximum benefit from the World fastest growing economy i.e China through proper application of CPEC projects. US opposition to the growing Chinese influence and its backing of India to counter Chinese interests automatically impacts Pakistan. These regional partnerships led Pakistan with further enhancing its ties with China both in strategic and economic front. Regional cooperation based on economic integration is the basis of international relations, but stubborn behaviour of India in the South Asian region is a hurdle in achieving regional integration and ultimately global reach.
*Jawad Ahmed, The writer is a Researcher with MPhil in International Relations from Quaid i Azam University Islamabad having interest in Politics, Bilateralism and Strategic Studies. Can be contacted at [email protected]