Pakistan's Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS) hosted a webinar titled “China-India standoff: Implications for Regional Security” to discuss the rapidly evolving situation on the China-India border and risks of further escalation. The session was chaired by Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat (retd), President CASS while Shashank Joshi, the Defence Editor at the Economist magazine, Prof Shen Dingli, Fudan University, Lt-Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi (retd) and former Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, Senior Director CASS were the four speakers. The CASS President initiated the discussion with his opening remarks and provided an overview of the current situation on the China-India border and shared his concerns over the potential further escalation. Shahsank Joshi shared his views on the recent crisis and stated that neither China nor India anticipated the current level of escalation and it resulted due to extremely worrying deterioration of protocols on both sides. He termed it a watershed moment in the history of the two countries. Prof Shen Ding Li expressed his views on the Chinese position and stressed that China was not looking for war and would not want to further escalate the situation. He added that China would not compromise and agree to India’s perception of the Line of Actual Control as well. He also emphasised the importance of strong Pak-China relations. Lt-Gen Lodhi (retd) shared his insights on the military and operational significance of the crisis and stressed that the skirmish may seem tactical, but it may have strategic consequences. He explained the potential risks for Pakistan as well. Ambassador Jilani traced the history of the China-India relationship and shared its linkage with the current crisis. In his concluding remarks, CASS President made a comparison of India’s response to China and Pakistan during the Balakot crisis. He shared the concern that India may direct its misplaced anger towards Pakistan; nonetheless, it will not solve India’s China problem. He added that in an attempt to isolate Pakistan, India had isolated itself in this crisis.

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