Archive for the ‘He Yafei’ Category

China’s Offer As Peacemaker Between Pakistan, India Rejected

December 30, 2008

China, a longtime adversary of India, tried in vain to become an “honest broker”  between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror massacre.  But predictably, India rejected the notion….


China’s aim of playing some kind of an “honest broker” between India and Pakistan did not end up as it had imagined.

Although Pakistan welcomed Chinese special envoy He Yafei with open arms on Monday, India  developed some last-minute hearing disability that prevented him from visiting Delhi. It left China with a mission incomplete, but a message from India that cannot be ignored.

By The Times of India

According to reports from Pakistan, the Chinese envoy met the top leadership in Islamabad and told them to “de-escalate” tensions with India. He also said a conflict would only strengthen the hands of terrorists. China, he said, was “deeply worried about the resurfacing of tensions in South Asia.”   

Over the weekend, during a phone call made by China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi to Pranab Mukherjee, he suggested that resuming talks with Pakistan could be constructive. Mukherjee, already on a short fuse, rejected any such suggestion. But Pakistan picked up on it and its foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday repeated the call for resumption of talks.

The official Chinese version of the phone conversation said, “China hopes that India and Pakistan, both important neighbours of China, would bear in mind regional peace and stability, properly handle related issues through dialogue and consultations, and continue to improve their relations and to push forward the peace process between the two countries.”

India’s discomfort with such do-good missions is well known and China certainly is no stranger to it. But clearly, China wanted to get a foot into the cauldron here, thereby achieving a couple of key objectives, said sources. First, to acquire a status of the regional big brother, keeping squabbling countries at peace, and second, to keep India in “its place” – the South Asian box.

India has tried hard to widen the terrorism debate after the Mumbai attacks beyond Pakistan, but without much success. Part of the reason is the history of the region and partly because Pakistan wants to keep it to the bilateral dynamic. In this, Pakistan is helped along by China.

China had put a “technical hold” on the ban of the JuD in the UN Security Council and only relaxed it after the Mumbai attacks made it impossible to keep on with it.