From the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief, via Asia Media:
In keeping with its economic expansion, China has deepened its strategic influence in the region, especially with India’s immediate neighbors – Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Beijing has long kept a close strategic partnership with Islamabad, but its overtures to the remaining countries were hobbled by the 1962 Sino-Indian war and its protracted pariah status as the “communist other,” which it endured until the early 1970s. China’s entr√©e in South Asia gained momentum only after its conversion to the market economy in the 1980s, which filled its coffers with trade and investment dollars. Its resultant economic strength opened the path into South Asia, beyond Pakistan. China skillfully deployed economic incentives to draw Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka into its strategic orbit.