President Xi Jinping’s visit to India has yielded results, with China pledging to invest around $20 billion in the next five years in railways, power parks and maybe even nuclear plants. Prime Minister Modi had often spoken highly of China’s rapid economic development, both before and after winning the elections. India’s own economic development rests on invests from other countries, and Narendra Modi must bring as many international investors as he can if he is to fulfil his promise of improving India’s economy. The actions of both India and China are indicative of a newfound willingness to end the mutual hostility that has been part of their relationship of old.

Although China has economic interests too, rationality dictates that the only way India’s rise will not stress the balance of power in Asia is if the two developing nations move past old grievances, or if China has complete supremacy over its southern neighbour. While the investment plan does not automatically imply that Pakistan’s friendship with China will suffer as a result, the strategic partnership of China and India will almost certainly mean that China’s incentive to invest in Pakistan to use it as an ally against India will diminish as ties with the latter improve. But at the same time, trade between the two countries has been increasing steadily for a while now, touching roughly $70 billion last year, and yet hostilities on the borders have not abated. China is India’s largest trading partner, and experts in India are concerned that the country is being used as a dumping ground for Chinese goods, citing the $40 billion trade deficit with China as evidence. The promised sum itself is also lower than what was expected. Rumors of a $100 billion investment were circulating before Mr. Jinping landed in India. China’s sudden movement across the unmarked mountain borders north of India tensed quite a few people. The synchronisation of the Premier’s visit with troop deployment makes China’s intentions unfathomable.

Prime Minister Modi Has tried steering the discussion towards border confrontations, but Xi Jinping has played these down, and not much has been heard since. His visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka has also made India wary. At the end of the day, even if the two countries are realistic and engage in trade, border interests and sovereignty always come first. Concerns about this relationship have been raised in Pakistan, but China is intelligent enough to trade with any partners that serve them any sort of benefit. Which means that for now, the alliance of Pakistan and China will endure.