After the world experienced the horrors of World War it decided that it was time to finally come together and unite its efforts in working towards a better, safer future for all. Thus came to be an intergovernmental organization with the United Nations being a prime example. It was assumed that the only way to grow was if everybody did it together hand in hand.
However, keeping events of the recent past in mind it has become evident that that illusion has been shattered. While people can play nice, for some time at least, sooner or later there is always somebody who wishes to excel no matter the cost. National interests triumph over global interests which give birth to conflict in a never-ending cycle.
This does not mean that all countries have completely refused to work together. The ‘new’ emerging global dynamic seems to be to grow strong yourself first and then help those around you to create a more even playing field. Even though it sounds contradictory in nature it does seem to be working for many nations.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic made invaluable revelations into this theory. While countries were quick to shut themselves up initially, at whatever the cost to others, once the vaccine came out it was quickly spread out globally as everyone realized that surviving alone was not the practical way.
A prime example of this is the Pakistan-China relationship. After World War China initially closed up itself from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, it aggressively started working towards restoring its former glory. Enveloping itself in an “iron curtain” it made sure that it could stand on its own two feet without any crutches. After developing its infrastructure and reaching a ‘tipping point’ where it felt it couldn’t grow alone anymore it started looking for friends.
Pakistan its close neighbor seemed like the best choice. Engaged in constant conflict on two sides of its border while facing constant pressure from the west it was in desperate need of a breather. Instead of taking an aggressive approach, China took the softer one. Through the BRI project, China invested considerably in its neighbor. While the two countries have historically enjoyed good relations, this was from a favor. Rather a cleverly devised method for both countries to create a win-win situation for themselves.
China realizes that while Pakistan becoming its gateway to warm waters is worth the effort if Pakistan also develops its infrastructure it will become an added lure for the rest of the world’s attention to the region. Also, financial stability will go a long way in improving the country’s security condition as has been proved by multiple countries before.
India: The Outlier
One strong counterpoint to this new global dynamic is the presence of India. It is not nearly on similar relations with China while many even believe it to be its biggest competitor backed by the US. While not inaccurate recent events have also revealed this dynamic to be shifting. The US is no longer the sole power pole of the world as it once was with many rivals now slowly emerging around the globe.
India too realizes that there is only so much to be gained by allying all its national interests with old ‘Uncle Sam.’ Competing with China solely also seems out of the question due to the sheer advantage the Chinese have gained over the rest of the world. India will surely also have learned from Pakistan about how the US treats its allies once it has no more use for them. Abandoning Afghanistan after all those claims of ensuring peace and stability reveals the hypocrisy of the highest order.
What this would entail for Pak-India relations in the future is yet to be seen but that is entirely due to the complicated history of the country share ever since birth. The main point of contention between the two is Kashmir, a continuous conflict zone with no end in sight. However, if we have learned anything from our European brethren and the formation of the EU is that even countries who have fought ‘100 years of wars and committed some of the worst atrocities imaginable don’t waste much time in joining hands once it seems profitable enough.
All the while the west seems insistent on painting China as a tyrannical overload that only cares about making its own end meet. Once China gains complete control at least financially, it will reveal its true nature to the world. This plot however sounds eerily similar to not long ago. It was the US itself the culprit, that once consolidated all power after the downfall of the USSR, found it all too convenient to launch “peacekeeping missions” in the middle east which just so happened to be rich in oil, culminating in the concept of the petrodollar.
The US has historically made many claims about the many faults in the Chinese system of governance, and how its own brand of ‘capitalism and freedom’ is the only way to move forward. But while the rest of the world was so captivated by the “American Dream” China managed to prove all those doubts wrong and has now emerged as the US’s greatest competitor.
To summarize the new emerging global dynamic seems not to be “let’s work together towards a better future for all” but rather “first make yourself strong then help those around you so everyone can support each other.” Helping others is not foolish but first, a nation needs to ensure that can actually help itself before helping others.
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