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Farhan Bokhari, Islamabad
A policeman stands guard next to
portraits of Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, left, Xi Jinping, centre and
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Chinese President Xi Jinping,
bearing promises of more than $45bn in infrastructure investment, began a visit
to Pakistan on Monday that will strengthen ties between Beijing and its
nuclear-armed south Asian ally. His visit will also launch a new Chinese
diplomatic drive in Asia and underline the waning influence of the US in
Eight Pakistani JF-17 fighter jets,
jointly manufactured by Pakistan and China, escorted Mr Xi’s presidential
aircraft in Pakistani airspace. The JF-17 is among the most visible signs of
Chinese support for Pakistan after a 1990 US decision to block the sale of its
F16 military jets because of concerns over Islamabad’s nuclear programmes.
will be the first testing ground for Beijing’s regional economic strategy known
as the Silk Road Economic Belt, a concept first
announced by Mr Xi during a visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. It has since been
renamed “One Belt, One Road” and is designed to promote regional stability, expand
China’s economic footprint and boost the country’s exports through a
combination of commercial investment and aid.
China wants to counter an Islamist
separatist insurgency in Xinjiang, develop its western hinterlands by giving
them more access to markets in central Asia, and help stabilise Afghanistan and
Pakistan with much needed economic infrastructure.
“With the US adjusting its role in
Afghanistan, China will play a larger constructive role in the region, mostly
in safeguarding social and political stability,” said Fu Xiaoqiang of the China
Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
Islamabad is delighted with China’s
new strategy, and one senior Pakistani official described the visit as “a
game-changer for us, for Pakistan-Afghanistan [relations], for this region as a
Alluding to the sometimes awkward
relationship with the US, one Pakistani minister said China had treated
Pakistan with respect, “unlike some other countries”.
Mr Xi, in a gesture rarely extended
to foreign visitors, is due to address Pakistan’s parliament on Tuesday.
officials were already celebrating promised investments of some $34bn in energy
projects for the electricity-starved country, and another $11bn in roads, a
railway, and other transport infrastructure, including for the Gwadar port.
The so-called “China-Pakistan
economic corridor” between Gwadar in southern Pakistan and China’s
predominantly Muslim western Xinjiang region will shorten the freight distance
between western China and the oil-rich Middle East, Pakistani officials noted,
while demonstrating that Pakistani is attracting foreign investment.
In a show of deepening military
ties, Mr Xi’s visit was preceded by confirmation that the Pakistan navy will
buy eight Chinese submarines after failing to strike an
agreement with other suppliers. The types of submarines and their expected cost
has not been revealed but analysts said the contract could be worth $4bn-$5bn
and be the biggest defence deal for both countries.
China has also been in talks with
Pakistan over the sale of 30-40 FC31 stealth fighter planes, which analysts say
will help counter the challenge posed by India, Pakistan’s main south Asian
foe. Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, recently announced the planned
purchase of 36 Rafale combat jets from France.
“The Chinese president’s visit shows
that the Chinese are signalling a strategic stake in Pakistan’s stability and
future,” said Mushahid Hussain, a prominent opposition politician and head of
the independent Pakistan-China Institute in Islamabad.
diplomat, added: “If all the economic projects planned by China materialise,
that will be a boost for Pakistan which will be fairly unprecedented.”
the fanfare surrounding the planned Chinese investments should be treated with
caution given the violent Taliban insurgency in the country.
Taliban threat, how will there be enough stability to let the Chinese projects
continue?” one asked.
A senior Pakistani intelligence
official, however, said the government was establishing a special force led by
the Pakistan army to provide security for the 55 Chinese projects in the
economic corridor. “We are all aware of the risks,” the official said.
Additional reporting by Victor
Mallet in New Delhi and Ma Fangjing in Beijing
the processes of going through the article first think that struck me was that
author wrote the article in simple language understandable to the readers
easily describing the strategical vital points eloquently elucidating the
necessity for such offers under the prevailing circumstance in the region and Pakistan’s
existential geo-political long time developments that has now culminated in a
state of fight to exist or surrender.
multidimensional offer pact in no way can be overlooked by the concerning world
powers and in particular US, INDIA, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA and RUSSIA. It is interesting to see the game
of chess being played by US and China.
financial then the defense strategy have entered the field with economical back
up support plus the distance advantage and disadvantage. From the situation
developing seems that this part of the
Asia pacific would get very volatile soon enough with more emphasis in on South
East Asian region.
would be volatial not only because of India Pakistan, also because of Russia
and China coming down to the warm water of both Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal
apart from India’s expansionism policy. Started by the ex congress party like
Russia with the region. The volatility seems would get to the extreme in
another 20 to 30 years. In anther 20 years Pakistan would be able to stand up
on its feet if China continue to give all back up support. I as a defense
strategist do not find any direct conflict or even war with US- China in
hundreds of years. But with India Pakistan, North and South Korea, and any
other local fight and war might take place.
was surprising that a western immature diplomat commented about Taliban which
shows the nudity of the western diplomacy. In such occasion such comment would
come up as a negative stance with the comment that the failure of friendship
was due to west’s secret fingering. It is unimaginable as to how such diplomats
are posted in such countries of Global importance. The diplomat must bear in mind
and make a habit to talk less and listen more.
intelligentsia opined that both the countries India and Pakistan should amend their
attitude and reconcile to leave in peace.
might turn around the table in the better interest for the people if it do not forego
the policy of Congress party of expansionism because other wise they might have
to concede to the demand of the West Bengal and Seven sisters.
mentioned the above the way things are shaping up things would ultimately take
a turn to the facts spelt out here in. Before concluding it is mentioned in very
brief is this is the time to consolidate own positions as “TIME WAITS FOR NONE”