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China-Pakistan: Fraying Ties

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    China-Pakistan: Fraying Ties

    is china moving towards more neutral position. old game of playing pakistan against india working?

    The writer, currently based in San Francisco, studies defence and energy issues. He is working on a book about Pakistan's military policies

    China's recent white paper on defence devotes considerable space to condemning religious extremism, makes only one reference to South Asia as an area of instability and makes no mention of the freedom struggle in Kashmir. All this represents a major change in Chinese policy toward Pakistan that the latter would do well to heed.

    Pakistan and China have had warm relations from the 1960s through the late 1990s. China stepped in to fill the void created by the U.S. arms embargo against Pakistan in 1965. In turn, Pakistan later helped broker China's opening to the United States in 1971. This relationship enabled China to block the emerging border threat from an increasingly belligerent Soviet Union. India's nuclear test in 1974 caused China to accelerate its nuclear, missile and space programmes and give Pakistan access to highly classified information, which led some analysts to conclude that Pakistan had become "China's Israel." When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, China joined Pakistan in calling for a Soviet withdrawal. In 1992, China supplied Pakistan with M-11 missiles, possibly triggered by the U.S. decision to supply F-16s to Taiwan. Tit for tat.

    But more recently, these ties have begun to cool. There are three reasons. First, Deng Xiaoping gave priority to economic development over defence. China began downsizing its military, and initiated complementary changes in its foreign policy. This programme received a boost with the demise of the Soviet Union, China's major security concern. At the same time, the departure of the Soviets from Afghanistan spurred the rise of the Taliban. With tacit approval from Pakistan, they joined forces with freedom fighters in Kashmir to wage a jihad against Indian forces. Even though China had long supported the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, it was now in a bind. The Taliban were beginning to make their presence felt in China's Xinjiang region, the scene of disturbances in 1997. China arrested and executed rioters and warned Pakistan.

    In its opposition to extremist Muslim forces, China found allies in Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kirgyzstan, signing an agreement with them in Shanghai in 1996. Consequently, when Pakistani forces attacked Indian bases in Kashmir in 1999, China did not support Pakistan for fear of encouraging the Taliban.

    Next, China initiated a dialogue with India, recognizing the latter's increasing ability to project military power, and its emergence as an Asian "Silicon Valley." The president of India made a high-profile visit to China, even though India's defence minister, in justifying New Delhi's nuclear tests in 1998, had stated that China was India's major enemy. Notably, China joined the U.S. in condemning not only India for those tests but also Pakistan for reciprocating.

    Last, China is engaged in a very delicate balancing act with the U.S. On the one hand, it opposes the emergence of the U.S. as the world's only superpower, and is very concerned about U.S. support to Taiwan. Yet, for its continued economic development, it needs the U.S. as a trading partner. American support has been critical to its bid to join the World Trade Organization. Thus, to avoid U.S. sanctions, China has yielded to American pressure and declared that it is not providing missile technology to Pakistan.

    In the future, the China-Pakistan relationship is likely to cool even further if Pakistan continues to support the Taliban. China will come down hard on Pakistan, but how hard depends on how tenuous is the situation in its troubled border regions, particularly Xinjiang and Tibet. India may well stir up separatist movements in Tibet if China openly supports the Kashmiri movement.

    Of course, if China-U.S. relations worsen, China may well play the Pakistan card to further infuriate America. Pakistan would then become the beneficiary of advanced nuclear and missile technology. And if India begins to militarily threaten China, Beijing may boost its military support for Pakistan to pin down Indian forces along the border with Pakistan.

    While Pakistan is likely to remain China's ally in most scenarios, it cannot take China for granted. When asked whether imperial Britain had any perpetual allies or eternal friends, a leading statesmen is reported to have answered: "We don't have perpetual allies or eternal friends. But we do have interests, both perpetual and eternal." This philosophy applies to modern China, too. Pakistan must understand this.


    This represents only the writer's point of
    view. It doesn't mean that China really
    consider Pakistan a non important country.
    The relationship between Pakistan and China
    are old and the friendship is as firm as
    steel. No matter what the writer thinks,
    my believe is that Pakistan will again
    emerge as a power. This country has all
    the potential and resources to become an
    economically vibrant country. We just need
    a leader who is capable of distributing these
    resources correctly. In my opinion, the U.S,
    China and india too understand that present
    Pakistan is not the Future’s Pakistan. if you
    really look at the American attitude toward
    Pakistan, you'll notice that there are many
    pro Pakistan people in the house. So, the thinking
    that Pakistan is going to be isolated, is wrong. It is true
    that India look better then Pakistan now-a-days (like
    Pakistan use to be the country with the highest economical
    growth rate in the region and among one of the highest
    in the world), but it must be because some western power
    needs India to fulfill some task. Once, they finish this task,
    they will leave india alone like it is a useless nut.

    -May God bless the Land of Pure- PAKISTAN
    There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the end the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte


      Read on rvikz.

      1) Friend and all-weather friend

      2) Chinese warships for Pakistan Navy

      3) China's help to Pakistan during Kargil

      4) Pakistan, China agree to implement 40 projects

      By Our Correspondent
      ISLAMABAD, Nov 1 : Under the 15th S&T Cooperation Protocol signed on Wednesday, Pakistan
      and China agreed to implement 40 projects in the field of biotechnology, agricultural sciences,
      standards and quality control, fisheries, water resources etc.
      The protocol was signed in a meeting of Pakistan-China Joint Ministerial Committee on S&T
      Co-operation, a press release said.
      The Pakistan delegation was led by Secretary Science and Technology Division, Javed Masud. The
      Chinese side was led by Mr Yuan Shunguang, director general, international relations, ministry of
      science and technology. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Lu Shulin was also present on the occasion.
      Talking to the delegation, Javed Masud informed the delegation that Minister for Science and
      Technology Prof Atta-ur-Rahman had suggested that Pakistan and China should establish a joint
      revolving fund on the pattern of Pak-Kazakhstan co-operation.
      Javed requested China to help Pakistan in minimising post harvest problems, preparation of vaccines,
      production of low energy consuming bulks and renewable energy sector.
      A number of big projects, built with the help of China, in Pakistan included Heavy Mechanical
      Complex, Heavy Electrical Complex, Heavy Rebuild Factory and Chashma Nuclear Power Plant.
      Javed said due to financial difficulties, some research projects included in the 14th Protocol could not
      be implemented.
      Some 280 projects of economic importance are undergoing a process of peer review at the moment
      and the S&T Division intends to launch about 30-40 commercially viable projects in the near future.
      Shunguang, expressed satisfaction over the pace of implementation of projects between the two
      countries. He said Pakistan could benefit from anti-desertification and agricultural technology
      developed by China.
      Chinese ambassador in Islamabad Lu Shulin, on the occasion, said developing countries, which were
      facing numerous problems due to globalization of economy, should benefit from each other's

      5) Atta secures IT projects from China, Japan

      6) Pakistan, China to boost cooperation
      By Our Correspondent

      ISLAMABAD, Sept 13: Chairman National Highway Authority Maj Gen Viqar ul Haq Khan Khalid
      has said the government is taking pragmatic steps for construction of highways in Pakistan.
      The chairman was talking to the technical expert team of China here on Wednesday. An eight-member
      team of Chinese technical experts is visiting Pakistan nowadays in order to take a detailed review of
      the Karakorum Highway.
      The chairman of NHA said, Pakistan and China were already cooperating each other in road building
      sector and there was a vast capacity of further cooperation.
      Pak-China friendly relationship is exemplary and the Karakorum Highway is a living symbol of
      friendship between the two countries, he said adding that with regard to the international trade activity
      in the future, the Karakorum Highway would play central role.
      Head of the Chinese team Yan Chang Quing Said, the Chinese construction companies were engaged
      in road building projects in Pakistan and this would provide an opportunity to the experts of either side
      to be acquainted with the experience of each other.
      He said, Pakistan and China have already concluded trade pact and the Karakorum Highway enjoys
      vital significance for its implementation. He said the Chinese delegation would pay a detailed visit to
      the Karakorum Highway to keep it in good condition.

      7) China, Iran, Oman ready to finance Gwadar deep seaport construction

      RECORDER REPORT.QUETTA (September 5) : China, Iran and Oman have renewed offer of assistance both in terms of expertise and necessary funds for the development of Makran coastal belt, building coastal highway and construction of a deep seaport at Gwadar, an authentic source said here on Monday.
      The terms and conditions of these countries for investment are under active consideration of the government.
      Pakistan has, however, told them that public and private sectors investment in these projects would be most welcome after due consideration.
      All these three countries, have been briefed on the blueprints prepared for southern Balochistan development by Pakistan for foreign investors.
      Six-point blueprints for Makran development, believed to have been delivered to China, Iran and Oman separately, deal with wide ranging projects.
      These projects, involving foreign expertise and funds, pertain to construction of coastal towns along Makran coast and their connection to hinterland through highway and road network.
      Others relate to provide power for industrial and commercial development, conserve water resources for power generation, agriculture and drinking water purposes, provide adequate fish landing, handling, storage and marketing facilities for fishermen, initiate industrial activity, identify industries suited to fish-related and export-oriented schemes, improve and initiate social action programme as well as develop tourism along Balochistan coast.
      Another portfolio of projects delivered to China, Iran and Oman, pertains to the construction of 653 km long coastal highway from Karachi to Jiwani close to Iran, through Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani including link roads to important towns touching coastal highway.
      The countries have also been told that the government has already initiated work on the first section of this vitally important 653 km long coastal highway from Lyari to Ormara.
      It would have two more important sections -- Ormara-Pasni and Pasni-Gwadar-Jiwani near Pak-Iran border. Detailed engineering design for all the three sections of the coastal highway have already been prepared with the total investment estimated at over Rs 11 billion.
      Similarly, Gwadar deep sea port portfolio has been updated by the government to provide warehousing, transshipment and industrial facilities for international import-export trade by Pakistan with Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Gulf States, East Africa, Red Sea countries and North West India. Deep-sea port Gwadar involves investment of Rs 30 billion.
      Copyright 2000 Business Recorder (

      [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited January 26, 2001).]


        Sure whatever you say rvikz.
        Your posts make less sense day by day.
        This i an opinion and not fact.

        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


          China is too pragmatic in its behaviour to satisfy the absolutist needs of the Pakistani nation. China is culturally aloof and wedded to non-articulation of policy like other pragmatic nations of Southeast Asia and the Far East. Trade is the principle that drives China's pragmatism. For Pakistan, trade is an obstacle in the prosecution of an ideological war that must change reality. Pakistan pretends to idealise China as an 'all-weather friend' but is unwilling to imbibe the model China represents.