Srinagar: In a recent speech to a think tank, the Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, who has also served as ambassador to Pakistan, made it clear that China’s policy is to put trade ahead of dispute, Dawn said in its editorial on Thursday.
The editorial also said that Luo’s speech also demolished not just expectations that China will automatically side with Pakistan in its disputes with India but also drove a stake through hyperbolic assertions that CPEC and Pakistan’s ties with China will help achieve a fair and just settlement on Kashmir.
“Pakistani policymakers’ reflexive argument that China is Pakistan’s friend first in South Asia ought to be reconsidered in the light of the very sensible formulation by Mr Luo of a ‘China first’ policy — national interest rightly trumping the more irrational hopes of even close allies,” the editorial said.
The editorial added that Luo’s remarks are also a warning against Pakistan’s notion that CPEC has solidified Pakistan as its greatest, and possibly only, ally in the South Asia region.
“Indeed, policymakers here [in Pakistan] should be thankful to Luo and his superiors in Beijing for their clarity — and for offering Pakistan a template to follow. A ‘Pakistan first’ national security and foreign policy could help reduce the many situations of conflict this country finds itself in regionally.”