BEIJING, China: Given the massive investment that China has made in countries along the One Belt, One Road, China now has a vested interest in helping resolve regional conflicts including the dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
By playing the role of a mediator between Myanmar and Bangladesh, China can gather experience, which could perhaps serve as a prelude to future efforts by China to engage in regional affairs in South Asia and Southeast Asia, Global Times Tuesday reported.
China has been at the center of a regional power shift, thus the country now needs to learn how to act as a stabilizing force and conflict mediator in the region.
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.
For instance, while China has the capability to resolve conflicts through mediation given its increased economic influence, the nation needs to be very prudent in dealing with other big powers, India included, in the region.
The newspaper opined that China’s recent mediation between Myanmar and Bangladesh over Rohingya issue shows the increased ability of Beijing in resolving conflicts beyond its borders to maintain regional stability.
Myanmar is a key point along the One Belt, One Road route.
While China has gradually increased its investment in the country’s western Rakhine state, religious and ethnic conflicts in the turbulent region have increasingly become a source of concern for Chinese investors, and are creating obstacles for Beijing and Naypyidaw to find a sustainable model for future economic cooperation.
The Rohingya issue has long been a cause of instability in the Rakhine state; therefore China has a strong interest in helping tackle the issue to ensure regional stability.
With China’s rise, Beijing gradually has gained ability to mediate in conflicts outside the country. For instance, China could strengthen the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar.
What’s more, China’s recent involvement in resolving the Rohingya issue could help get Bangladesh and Myanmar back to the negotiating table to shoulder their responsibility for coping with the Rohingya refugee crisis.
China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, but that doesn’t mean Beijing can turn a deaf ear to the demands of Chinese enterprises in protecting their overseas investments.
In fact, mediating between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue would perhaps be one of the toughest challenges facing China in dealing with regional affairs to safeguard its overseas interests.—APP