In an effort to bolster ties between both nations, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will reportedly be visiting Beijing next week. Khan's visit to China is scheduled to take place just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Nepal and India.
Khan's visit to China will primarily be for a speaking engagement at this year's China-Pakistan business forum to be held in Beijing on October 8. The event is aimed at promoting trade and cooperation between both nations, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
However, local reports have revealed that Khan will likely be meeting with Xi during his stay in the country. Some of the topics they will reportedly be discussed could include the current crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, a hotly contested area for both Pakistan and India.
While the reported meeting will mostly be about the cooperation between both nations to develop the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Kashmir topic will almost certainly be part of Khan's agenda. The Pakistani leader had previously spoken at the United Nations last week, fiercely expressing his stance on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir are under security lockdown following India's decision to repeal the status of the Indian-administered part of the region. Both India and Pakistan have laid full claims over the regions and their recent clash could escalate the already rising tensions between the two nuclear powers.
Political analysts have speculated that Khan's visit to China could be an extension of Pakistan's agenda to internationalize the Kashmir issue. Khan could try to gain diplomatic support from China for the country to try and pressure India to change its course of action.
This strategy may be hard to pull off as both China and India do have a standing economic and political relationship. China will likely be hard-pressed to grant Pakistan's request. China had previously stated that it was "highly concerned" over the situation in Kashmir.
Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar previously stated that the situation in Kashmir is purely an internal affair and that they will resolve the issue by themselves.
A few days after Khan's scheduled visit to China, Xi is expected to head to India to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting, which will take place between October 11 and 13, is aimed at building friendlier ties between both nations following their Doklam border conflict in 2017. The meeting has also been touted as a way to further boost economic relations and mitigate strategic competition between the two manufacturing powerhouses.