Pakistan FM Qureshi embarks on a two-day visit to Beijing

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will today land in China for a two-day visit to discuss ongoing territorial disputes

Pakistan

Photo: Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Reuters

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will today land in China for a two-day visit to discuss ongoing territorial disputes in the Jammu and Kashmir regions as well as progress on the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Qureshi and Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi’s meeting follows skyrocketing tensions in the Ladakh region of Kashmir, signified by a June border clash between Indian and Chinese troops that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers. While India and Pakistan are the primary players in the territorial dispute over Kashmir, China’s increased presence in the region—including cooperation with Pakistan to build a dam in the Pakistan-administered region of Kashmir—has angered New Delhi and brought Beijing nearer to the forefront of the conflict.

Beijing is unlikely to decelerate progress on the Diamer Bhasha dam site, where construction has already begun, and has recently signed two other agreements with Islamabad to develop hydroelectric power projects in Kashmir that will receive Chinese investments of up to $4 billion. For New Delhi and Beijing to avoid violent clashes in the future, India may have no choice but to concede to a strengthened Chinese presence in Kashmir. But such a backdown is unlikely to sit well with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s increasingly nationalist party and base.

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