A wonderful discussion started by a Pakistani man recently on Pakistani Defence Forum caught my attention, Why will China chose India over Pakistan or Which ties will be more favourable for the stability in the region.
Pakistan and China considers each other all weather friend. When China was in need of expanding its influence, Russia, America, Europe, Japan, and India had differences with it. India giving shelter to Tibetan peaceful leader Dalai Lama angered China. Pakistan and China, both anti India, became allies.
But today the situation is little different. Pakistan, though it receives daily billions of dollars from US, Europe, gulf and other friendly countries as military and economic aid, it is unable to tackle the terrorism and insurgency, which it once used and nourished as an strategical asset against India.
Pakistan/China cooperation is strictly limited to military and governmental levels. There is very little people-to-people contact and almost no cultural exchange. The relationship is one of ‘colleagues, not friends’.
Pakistan and China virtually share any culture, hardly people in Pakistan watch Chinese shows and hardly Chinese people care about Pakistan’s. Often Chinese fail to differentiate between Indians and Pakistani and think they are Indians. Chinese are familiar with Indian movies, A huge population in India in its northern border along the Himalayas to the north east shares Buddhist culture with Chinese and Tibetans. And the trade value between India and China is the largest in the region.
India is using its soft power to build a positive image amongst the Chinese masses. As China becomes more democratic, it will tilt more and more towards India. As what happened with US. While the Pakistan military government enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Pentagon, India was busy buying politicians and working on a grass-roots campaign within the US.
Yes India-Chinese ties may become fruitful but still one can not think of high level cooperation and mutual understanding between the two nations. Russia, China, India may become a powerful group whose policies will affect the world as it does at minor level now.
The problem always arises when two giants stand up side by side with one trying to press another. China and India will hopefully learn to live side by side as Russia and China.
Future wars will be fought for resources and not for borders, in that case again China and India will be rivals as they will be scanning Africa and resourceful places. In that case more possible ties can be between India and Pakistan. Same people, same food, same language and same religion, One day will come when they will realize they were unnecessarily fighting.