Tensions Boil As Relations Sour Between Pakistan And India, China Steps In And Declares She Will Support Pakistan

Kashmir has been a stress point between India and Pakistan for years. With the recent moves to assert Indian authority over Kashmir, Pakistan has said she is considering cutting off diplomatic ties with India. In addition, China has now stepped into the field, saying that she will support Pakistan’s claims over that of India:

China intends to support Pakistan in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over the occupied Kashmir issue, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Friday after meeting with top officials in Beijing.

Qureshi, who arrived here in the Chinese capital early Friday to hold consultations with their leadership after India revoked special status of occupied Kashmir, apprised officials in Beijing about Pakistan’s concerns and reservations.

In an urgent visit to the ally nation, the foreign minister reached the State Guest House to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, wherein he informed the latter of India’s illegal move. The two held talks for two and a half hours.

‘Trustworthy friend’
Speaking to the media following his meeting with Wang in the Chinese capital, Qureshi said Pakistan had decided to go to the UNSC over India’s shocking move and that Beijing would fully support Islamabad.

China would maintain full cooperation with Pakistan and the two ally nations’ ministers and missions would stay in close contact, he said, adding that Beijing had, once again, proved today that it was Islamabad’s trustworthy friend.

The Sino-Pak friendship was everlasting, the minister noted, and that Pakistanis should continue being proud of it. He also stressed that his Chinese counterpart had completely supported Pakistan’s stance and agreed that India’s move was unilateral.

Such a move had definitely changed occupied Kashmir’s status and geography, Qureshi noted, adding that he and Wang agreed that it would prove dangerous to the regional peace and stability.

The Chinese foreign minister also agreed that occupied Kashmir was and remained a disputed matter and that it should be resolved in accordance with the UN’s resolutions.

China, Wang added, desired a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue so as not to let tensions exacerbate. The Chinese officials were informed that India could opt for another move like the Pulwama attack.

‘Gross human rights violations’
Earlier, on arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport, Qureshi was welcomed by Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi, and senior officials of the foreign ministry.

Speaking to the media before leaving Islamabad, the foreign minister had said India was intent on disrupting the regional peace with its unconstitutional measures and that China was not only a friend to Pakistan but also an important country of the region.

The foreign minister added, he will take the Chinese leadership in confidence over the situation in occupied Kashmir. “I will apprise the Chinese leaders of the unconstitutional measures taken up by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir. I will also brief them of the gross human rights violations in the occupied valley.”

Earlier, while speaking to a private television channel, Qureshi said the Indian government can stage a Pulwama-like terrorist act or drama to avoid the world’s attention from the grave situation in the occupied valley.

“The entire world has condemned the unconstitutional move of the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] government to revoke the constitutional status of held Kashmir,” the foreign minister said.

He added that Pakistan would raise the issue at international fora and provide political, legal and diplomatic support to the people of occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for the right to self-determination.

In response to a question about any misadventure by India in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the foreign minister said the diplomatic community in Islamabad had been informed of Pakistan’s concern in that regard.

India could stage a Pulwama type terrorist act to avoid the world’s attention, he stressed.

The Indian government on Monday rushed through a presidential decree to abolish Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Indian occupied Kashmir, as tensions mounted in the disputed valley with unprecedented numbers of Indian troops deployed in the region. (source, source)

Pakistan and China are allies not out of “friendship” as this article would suggest, but necessity, along with Saudi Arabia.

It is likely that China would not actually support Pakistan in a material way should actual shooting or a serious war happen. However, this could always change given the conditions. For now, it is mainly used as a check on China’s south Asian rival in India, which at a similar population size and possessing the fourth most powerful military in the world, is a formidable contender against the Chinese. India and China have long-standing border disputes, particularly over the areas near Tibet, Kashmir, as well as Arunachal Pradesh in the east.

The US has been moving close to India as well as Myanmar/Burma for a long time, most likely to counter Chinese geopolitical claims in the region. It will be important to see what happens with this Kashmir situation and what the potential long-term consequences of it may bring.

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