China-US alliance will have positive impact on Pak-China relations

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China’s alliance with the United States and their unanimous position on international and regional issues will have positive impact on Pakistan-China bilateral ties.

This was stated by Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University while commenting on the new phase of the Sino-US ties in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the US.

He said that forming alliances abroad can help China smooth bilateral ties, like in the context of Pakistan, the two-countries’ growing relation which are cited as exemplary the world over.

The comments are based on Yan’s recent lecture “Strategies for China’s rise and changing international environment.” These appeared in the Global Times, a Chinese tabloid published under the auspices of People’s Daily newspaper.

He believes that alignment between two powers is a solution of many conflicts. For instance, Pakistan is in alliance not only with China, but also with the US. In terms of issues concerning Pakistan, there is no divergence between Beijing and Washington. If China can ally itself with every single ally of the US, there will be far less controversies between the two. But the problem is China is not willing to ally with the US partners.

According to Yan Xuetong, some say that forging an alliance is a Cold War mind-set. On the contrary, he says, it is nonalignment that demonstrates the Cold War mentality. The proposal of nonalignment was raised in 1956 by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yugoslavia’s then president Josip Broz Tito.

And the very first conference of non-aligned heads of states or government, at which 25 countries were represented, was convened in September 1961. The Non-Aligned Movement came into being during the Cold War, and so has a Cold War mentality, while forming alliances is simply human nature since ancient times.

The core of nonalignment is not to provide security assurances for other nations. All members from the Non-Aligned Movement are small and medium economies, and super powers have never engaged in such a thing. If China insists in nonalignment, how can they show their good will and justice?

Are we going to tell the world that China is growing increasingly stronger, but China will never protect your safety, he questioned.

“For the moment, we should consider how to face the emerging pressure that comes along with the rise of China. That’s correct. Beijing and Washington are now trying to ease tensions with each other by pretending to be friends. But this strategy is obviously not working,” Yan said.

“The root cause is the fact that the core of this bilateral relationship is competition, rather than cooperation. Cooperation is only a method to prevent their competition from getting worse. And it is impossible to turn competition entirely into cooperation. Hence, my suggestion is to admit that we are competitors, and guide Sino-US ties toward healthy competition,” he added.

“The conflicts of core interests between China and the US are constantly growing. So far, there is no solution to the puzzle. All we can do is to prevent these controversies from escalating into war. But it is impossible to pursue a relationship without conflicts of core interests. It’s like you can prevent two students from fighting over scholarship,” he said.

“Yet you cannot stop them from competing for it. Instead of ideological conflicts, the major controversy that lies between Beijing and Washington is conflicts of core interests.”