The Chinese attempt to raise the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council at Pakistan’s behest which has failed twice over the last month and has ended up heightening the isolation of Pakistan on the issue internationally has a link with the Pakistan-China economic corridor which is a dream project of Chinese president Xi Jinping. The hardening of India’s Kashmir policy and the veiled threat of the new Army chief that if the political establishment gives its assent India can regain control of the Pakistan-occupied areas in Kashmir has made the Chinese wary especially because the economic corridor passes through occupied Kashmir to go through to Gwadar port in Pakistan. Consequently, it is not a sudden surge of love for Pakistan that is motivating Chinese intent to maintain status quo in Pak-occupied Kashmir. It is self-interest linked to China’s stake in the Pakistan-China economic corridor.
The Chinese know only too well that India must have secured American backing for the plan to wrest control of Pak-occupied Kashmir. Hence they are seeking to internationalise the Kashmir issue and to rekindle the theory of Kashmir being a disputed territory. That India has thwarted the China-Pak move to take Kashmir to the Security Council is happy augury indeed. China would indeed be looking at contingency plans one of which is the new-found effort to woo Myanmar to join the plans. Myanmar has been offered a host of infrastructure projects which the Chinese would help build. It now remains to be seen whether Myanmar falls a prey to Chinese plans and gives assent to infrastructure development plans that could lead Myanmar into a debt trap. That the Americans and in a more subtle way, India, would do everything to see that Myanmar does not fall into the Chinese lap is a factor it has to reckon with.