Tactical confrontations between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and India and Pakistan at the Line of Control (LOC) occur on a regular basis in the India-Pakistan-China triangle. It has a complex history of unsolved border disputes. Furthermore, the geographic location of the three nuclear-armed countries defines this triangle, with any confrontation seen as posing the possibility of nuclear weapons use, or the potential of a war. This triangle is the key element of the whole South-Asian region.
It’s important to note that the unipolar world brought economic cooperation, and only two decades later, states are finding themselves tied in deep security interdependence, putting the future of economic growth and peace in jeopardy. The trilateral relations between China, Pakistan, and India has an interesting political and security interdependence dynamic. It shows not only their bilateral concerns, but also how regional powers’ influence is constrained regional multilateral mechanisms. China is self-sufficient in terms of security, but its economic progress is dependent on the rest of the globe.
Economic development is also the main interest between the two states. If Sino-Indian relations involve more of the economic dependency, there is a chance that China makes an effort to resolve its border disputes with India. This may help or hinder Pakistan to resolve its dispute on Kashmir with India. This may avoid the two-front war as China and Pakistan border disputes with India are still not resolved and Pakistan and China have a close strategic and military partnership. The India-Pakistan-China relationship is shaped by national power disparities and reciprocal threat perceptions, which are further exacerbated by the regional implications of the US-China dispute. China’s good relations with India can help China contain the U.S influence in India. Apart from the more abrupt responses and counter-reactions over the disputed borders, tensions may agitate in international arena on matters like counterterrorism and nonproliferation, as well as the regional stability scenario in Afghanistan.
Research Associate, Pakistan House