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India’s Sudden Peace Push With Nuclear Rivals China and Pakistan Shows Biden’s Impact | India News

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After a year of some of the worst fighting on India’s borders with Pakistan and China, the three countries are suddenly talking about peace as they wait to see how President Joe Biden will change politics in the region.
The foreign ministers of India and China on Thursday discussed plans to withdraw troops from their border with the Himalayas, which last year saw the deadliest fighting since the 1970s.
The phone call between S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, which lasted for more than an hour, came shortly after India and Pakistan released a rare joint statement by senior military officials announcing the cessation of operations throughout from its border.
The measures ease tensions in one of Asia’s main hotspots, where three nuclear-armed countries regularly challenge each other’s territorial claims. While India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence and have barely any trade, tensions between New Delhi and Beijing escalated last year to the point where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government banned hundreds of Chinese apps and slowed down approvals. investment.
The detente in South Asia shows all three countries responding to initiatives by the Biden administration, which is formulating policy toward the region after the unpredictable years of President Donald Trump. Pakistan wants to show the United States that it is not too close to China, Beijing wants to lower the temperature as Biden woos New Delhi, and India is hedging its bets as it prepares to host BRICS leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to end of this year.
“On the one hand, India hopes that the rivalry between the United States and China means that India remains important and Pakistan, as an ally of China, will face further pressure,” said Aparna Pande, director of the Initiative on the Future of India and the South. from Asia at the Washington-based Hudson Institute. “But Delhi is not sure how strong Washington will be against Beijing, so a temporary ceasefire with Pakistan and a slow disengagement with China may buy some time and ease immediate pressure on India.”
India’s borders with Pakistan and China stretch for almost 7,000 kilometers (4,300 miles). Although troops from India and China have begun withdrawing their troops from parts of the disputed border in the remote Himalayan region, there are still areas where soldiers clash.
India’s Foreign Ministry said Jaishankar stressed to Wang the need to improve bilateral relations and ensure peace on the disputed border between the two nations. Wang, meanwhile, called on China and India to firmly pursue the correct path of mutual trust and cooperation and “promote pragmatic cooperation,” Chinese state media reported.
New Delhi and Islamabad signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003 along their 742-kilometer (460-mile) Himalayan border, known as the Line of Control, but that truce has been repeatedly violated. Tensions worsened after August 2019, when Prime Minister Modi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
‘No one should question’
“In the interest of achieving a sustainable and mutually beneficial peace along the borders,” senior military officials from both nations “agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns,” they said in the statement.
The deal “will save innocent lives, so no one should question the intention,” Moeed W Yusuf, special assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, said on Twitter. “Nor should erroneous inferences be drawn. There is nothing more here than meets the eye. ”
The Biden administration welcomed the announcement of the re-implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement, which it had championed. “Regarding the role of the United States, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of interest,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Previous moves towards peace between India and Pakistan, including a declaration in May 2018 after an escalation of cross-border bombing, have quickly dissipated. Whether they can truly build on this and move towards a more permanent peace remains an open question, but for the moment at least the shifting geopolitical winds provide a seemingly rare opportunity to speak up rather than fight.
“Take the pressure off,” Najmuddin Shaikh, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary and ambassador to nations like the United States, said by phone when asked about the ceasefire. “Basically, what must emerge is what has been proposed: that the dialogue be resumed.”

Times of India

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