The following is from a commentary in Pakistan’s Daily Times by Shahzad Chaudhry, a retired air vice marshal and a former envoy. He writes about a conference he attended in China on strategic stability in Asia with participants from China, India and Pakistan:
In this huff and puff, and a growing frustration with a singular failure of the two [India and Pakistan] to realise the essence of how the world may have changed in doing its business, including the business of war, the Chinese participants altered the run of play, and left both India and Pakistan stunned with an entirely different perspective. A gem followed; it is both educative and illuminating. We have known it in various descriptions, but never in these words, and never from a greatly respected Chinese academic.
Chatham House rules inhibit me from direct ascription, but, here is the gist of the message: China, assuming its current rate of economic growth for the next five years, will overtake in size and value the Japanese economy and become the second largest in the world. In the same period of five years, China’s lingering disputes with India will cease to exist and would stand resolved. When China overtakes Japan in economic size, China need not hedge on her nuclear arsenal to subdue or control any arising threat from Japan; in fact, China’s problems in the South China Sea too will be subsumed by the emerging dynamic of her politico-economic clout.