Xi's deferring of Pak visit may help ties with India, Pakistan

Beijing: The postponement of President Xi Jinping's visit to Islamabad, though unusual, may help China to improve its relations with both India and Pakistan as it de-linked Chinese leaders' visits to both the countries for the first time, Chinese analysts have said.

The postponement is unusual however, it may not be a negative move, Hu Shisheng, a research fellow at the state-run China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations said.

Previously, Chinese leaders would visit India and Pakistan in one trip, but those trips did not come off well, Hu said referring to the longstanding practice.

"Diplomatic relations between the two countries, (India and Pakistan) have not yet been normalised, so that no matter which country is the first stop, the other one would question if we are balancing one using the closer relation with the other," Hu told state-run Global Times today.

"So separate trips to India and Pakistan might actually improve the effect of the visits," Hu said about the cancellation of the trip by Xi to Pakistan due to political situation in Islamabad.

This is perhaps for the first time a visit by a Chinese leader to all weather ally Pakistan has been cancelled.

Instead Xi will be visiting Maldives, Sri Lanka and India next week during his first trip to the subcontinent.

Hu said Xi's visit to India will set the foundation for the sound Sino-India relations for the next ten years.
The leaders will set a foundation for the Sino-Indian relationship in the next five to 10 years during this visit based on the prospect of the two new leaderships, he said.

Border dispute might not be the main topic as this requires more wisdom and patience from both sides, Chinese analysts said.

Another article in the Global Times said Japan and India which sought to forge closer ties during the recent visit of Modi to Tokyo can hardly exclude China.

Leaders of both Japan and India have spoken highly of the prospects of cooperation between the two countries.

But judging from the current situation, such "sincere" cooperation is more like each of them taking what they demand, it said.

"As China is a neighbour of both Japan and India, their bilateral ties cannot shield away from the China factor. Via this meeting, India seemed to form a united front with Japan to contain China. But will (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi be ready to align with Japan at the cost of displeasing China? Not necessarily," the tabloid, known for its nationalistic views, said.

"Japan and India do have the possibility of strengthening cooperation in security. Nonetheless, it still remains doubtful whether New Delhi, which puts the economy first, will want to offend a China whose GDP has exceeded that of Japan," it said.

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