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Influence of Biden administration brings peaceful push between India, China, Pakistan

India’s sudden peace push with nuclear rivals China, Pak shows Biden impact, Business Standard, 27 Feb 21, The detente in South Asia shows all three countries responding to initiatives from the Biden administration  After a year of some of the worst fighting on India’s frontiers with Pakistan and China, all three countries are suddenly talking peace as they wait to see how President Joe Biden will shift policy in the region.

India and China’s top diplomats on Thursday discussed plans to disengage troops from their Himalayan border, which last year saw the deadliest clashes since the 1970s. The phone call between Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, which stretched for more than an hour, came shortly after India and Pakistan released a rare joint statement by senior army officials announcing a halt in operations along their border.

The moves reduce tensions in one of Asia’s top flashpoints, where three nuclear-armed countries regularly challenge each other’s territorial claims. While India and Pakistan have fought three wars since Britain left the subcontinent and barely have any trade, tensions between New Delhi and Beijing escalated last year to the point where Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned hundreds of Chinese apps and slowed investment approvals.

The detente in South Asia shows all three countries responding to initiatives from the Biden administration, which is formulating policy toward the region following the unpredictable years of President Donald Trump. Pakistan wants to show the U.S. its not too close to China, Beijing wants to lower the temperature as Biden courts New Delhi and India is hedging its bets as it prepares to host BRICS leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year………………..

The Biden administration welcomed the announcement on reimplementing the 2003 ceasefire agreement, which it had advocated. “When it comes to the US role, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Previous moves toward peace between India and Pakistan, including a statement in May 2018 after an escalation of cross-border shelling, have dissipated quickly. Whether they can actually build on this and move toward a more permanent peace remains an open question, but at least for the moment the shifting geopolitical winds are providing a seemingly rare opportunity to talk instead of fight.

“It eases the pressure,” Najmuddin Shaikh, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary and ambassador to nations including the U.S., said by phone when asked about the ceasefire. “Essentially what needs to come ahead is what has been proposed — that there be a resumption of dialogue.”

February 28, 2021 - Posted by | India, politics international

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