On June 12, 2017, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Jeddah to meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He was reportedly bluntly asked by King Salman: “Are you with us or with Qatar?”
It has just been over a year since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his inaugural state visit to Pakistan in April 2015. The Pakistani port of Gwadar will commence full operations by the end of 2016. Gwadar is essential to CPEC as it will connect CPEC with shipping on the Arabian Sea.
A large country may not necessarily generate more soft power if it emphasizes hard power and does not take advantage of its potential soft power resources. The different political systems between China and India lead to distinct outcomes in their use of soft power.
The Brussels attack and last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris have the potential to sway the shocked governments of Western Europe to offer greater support for China’s ongoing struggle against Uighur jihadists in Xinjiang.