China’s state-run daily Global Times in a column published on Monday highlighted Beijing’s “vested interest” in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India due to its massive investment in the One Belt, One Road initiative in the region.
The column says that although China has “always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” it can no long turn a “deaf ear to the demands of Chinese enterprises in protecting their overseas investments.”
Given Beijing’s massive investment in countries along the One Belt, One Road initiative, it now has “a vested interest in helping resolve regional conflicts, including the dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan”.
The article advises that while Beijing has the capability due to its “increased economic influence” to help resolve conflicts in the region, prudence must be practised when dealing with the region’s “big powers,” including India.
“The nation needs to be very prudent in dealing with other big powers, India included, in the region,” the Global Times article says, pointing out the mediation between Pakistan and India over Kashmir “would perhaps be one of the toughest challenges facing China in dealing with regional affairs to safeguard its overseas interests”.
It notes that as China stands in the centre of a “regional power shift,” it must “learn to act as a stabilising force.”
“There is so much to learn for China about how to play its role as a regional power at a time when the country is witnessing a boom in outbound direct investment,” the column says.