It is said that each conﬂict simply prepares the ground for the next. The Afghan war of the 1980s against Soviet occupation culminated in the present ‘war’ on terrorism. It’s too early to say whether this conﬂict will lead to another war or clash of civilisations, or even a nuclear jihad in South Asia. But China worries more about being drawn into a conﬂict, not between Pakistan and India, but between Pakistan and the US, with the latter using India as a surrogate. With the top Al Qaeda/Taliban leadership ﬂeeing into Pakistan’s wild west and Kashmir, Beijing knows that Pakistan may be the next battleﬁeld.
China, Pakistan and India: Nervous Neighbours
The India-Pakistan crisis has once again highlighted the long shadow that Asia’s rising superpower, China, casts on the subcontinent, especially at times of heightened tension. In fact, Beijing has long been the most important player in the India-Pakistan-China triangular relationship. Since the Sino-Indian border war of 1962, China has aligned itself with Pakistan and made heavy strategic and economic investments there to keep the common enemy, India, off-balance.