Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, June 14, 1999 Published at 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK


World: South Asia

Analysis: China's balancing act

China supplied arms to Pakistan, but now aims to be neutral

By Asia analyst Jannat Jalil

The visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to Beijing is the highest level official Indian visit to China since India carried out nuclear tests last year.

At the time India said one of the main reasons for the tests was its concern about Beijing's nuclear capability. Bilateral relations which had been improving in recent years detriorated sharply.

Kashmir Conflict
However, since then China has been once again seeking to improve its relations with India, which were strained by a border war in 1962 and China's control of a part of Kashmir claimed by India.

To further this end, it has adopted a neutral stance over the Kashmir conflict despite its close ties with Pakistan.urging both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and to resolve their differences through dialogue.

China has long been an ally of Pakistan's particularly in the military sphere, and some defence experts believe that China helped Pakistan to develop its nuclear weapons programmme.


[ image: Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz]
Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz
It was these close ties between the two countries that led the Pakistani Foreign Minister,Sartaj Aziz, to pay a brief visit to Beijing before flying to Delhi on Saturday for the first direct talks between India and Pakistan since the fighting escalated last month.

Mr Aziz said after his talks with Chinese leaders that China had not offered, nor had Pakistan requested, any support if the conflict continued.

The Chinese leadership's attempts to position itself equally between India and Pakistan means this visit is unlikely to produce anything new. But it will be a chance for the two important regional powers, India and China, to further develop their improving relations.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

14 Jun 99 | South Asia
Hand-to-hand fighting in Kashmir

14 Jun 99 | South Asia
India 'using chemical weapons' in Kashmir

13 Jun 99 | South Asia
No deal at Kashmir talks

11 Jun 99 | South Asia
Analysis: A dialogue of the deaf?

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
Kashmir: Was India caught out?

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
India outraged at 'mutilated soldiers'

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
Analysis: China stays on the sidelines





Internet Links


UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan

Chemical Weapons Convention

Indian Ministry of External Affairs

Pakistan Government


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Sharif: I'm innocent

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

From Sport
Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

Pakistan fears Afghan exodus

Hindu-Buddhist conference in Nepal

Afghan clerics issue bin Laden fatwa

Culture awards at Asian festival

Gandhi pleads for husband's killer

UN condemns Afghan bombing

Gandhi prize for Bangladeshi