Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Pakistan - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2800, 9 February 2009
 
China and Pakistan: Relationship in a Bottle
Siddharth Ramana
Research Assistant, Middle East Strategic Informer, Jerusalem
e-mail: siddharth13@gmail.com
 

The recent remark by Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, that Pakistan had given the Chinese special envoy He Yafei a “blank cheque” in representing Pakistan in discussions with India can be viewed from multiple perspectives. The image which Pakistan wanted to convey was one of complete trust in the Chinese alliance, but this is likely also to open a can of worms for the strategic posturing of Pakistan in South Asia vis-à-vis the war on terror and its relations with the United States. 

Hussain Haqanni of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says that Pakistan has been viewed by China as a low-cost secondary deterrent to India, while China has been seen by Pakistan as a high-value security guarantor. It is therefore not surprising for Islamabad to have invoked the Chinese equation in dealing with the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. However, this time, Pakistan may have to face a behind-the-scenes chastisement from China. Such chastisements in fact date back to Pakistan also providing refuge to Uyghur militants from Xinjiang province in China.

Beijing would be looking with strong concern at the activities of Pakistan-based militant outfits in the region. Previously, China supported Pakistan's position on Kashmir, but has since moved towards a state of neutrality. China faces an Islamic terrorism threat emanating from its policies in Xinjiang, a region close to the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir, it continues to fears a spillover effect of Pakistani-sponsored militancy in the region. 

There are already reports of Uyghur terrorists being provided training and ideological support by militant outfits in Pakistan. In an interview to Asia World News, a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant Qari Farmanullah, claimed that dozens of militants involved in an Islamic insurgency in Xinjang also trained in Peuchar, a region in Pakistan's resistive Swat valley. It was in this region that a Chinese engineer who was kidnapped by militants was held (Asia World News, 29 January 2009).

China has not taken lightly Pakistani links to organizations antagonistic to its interests. Former President Musharraf was reported to have personally apologized to the Chinese for the violence against Chinese nationals in the country which preceded the Lal Masjid crisis. The Chinese hand in pushing Pakistan in dealing with militants can also be suspected in the development of the Gwadar naval port, an ambitious project which has been in the doldrums owing to the persistent security concerns in the region. In 2004, three Chinese engineers were killed and eleven injured in Balochistan. 

According to a report prepared by the Henry L Stimson Center, the Gwadar port project faces security concerns not only from the Taliban who oppose the economic development of Pakistan, but also from Balochis who fear further economic and cultural repression from the rival Punjabi ethnic groups (Zaid Haider, 2005). Recently, the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Information Secretary and former senator Sanaullah Baloch alleged that the Taliban have captured lands in the region with the direct connivance of the government (Daily Times, 5 January 2009). 

Chinese concerns of militant growth in Pakistan are not limited to fears of Uyghur terrorists. The increasing Talibanization of the Pakistani state further erodes the security of its nationals and interests in neighboring regions and further entrenches the American military outposts. During the 2008 November attacks, a reported conversation between one of the terrorists and his handler indicated that the handler while asking the gunman to be selective in the killing of Muslims wanted a Chinese woman to be killed (Stratfor, 2008). 

China chose not to remain oblivious to the international pressure on Pakistan in the days following the Mumbai attacks. At the United Nations Security Council, it supported the measure to designate the Jamaat-Ud-Dawa as a terrorist outfit, a move which it had twice blocked in April and May 2006, at the urging of Pakistan.  

China is however, in an increasingly dominant position with Pakistan. Its traditional leverage which resulted from exceptional military and economic cooperation with Islamabad is now further bolstered through the policy statements from the new American administration which seeks to test Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism. Pakistan would feel further vulnerable to a future Indian military response if the new American supply routes into Afghanistan result in lowering their profile at the Karachi port. This would make Pakistan further dependent on the Chinese, who would view this predicament with both glee and concern.  

China views India as an economic rival, and it was with great skepticism that it supported the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. Beijing continues to be concerned about an American encirclement with India as an agent. It would therefore continue to bail Pakistan out, despite its strong misgivings of the Islamic fundamentalism in the country. The Chinese involvement would entrench the Americans, ostensibly in counter-terror operations, and would therefore result in a cacophony of strategic relations in the region.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Stability in 2015
Sri Lanka: Making a Case for Change
Connecting Sri Lanka: Train to Jaffna
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism’s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
IPCS Forecast: East Asia in 2015
China-North Korea: Reasons for Reconciliation
Abe-Jinping Summit Meet: A Thaw in China-Japan Relations?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?
The Future of SAARC is Now

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
India’s Northeast: Need for a New Anti-Terror Policy
India-China: Securitising Water
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015
India and Maritime Security: Do More
Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
IPCS Forecast: Left-wing Extremism in 2015
Maoist Attack on the CRPF: Time for New Counter-strategies
Naxal Violence: Challenges to Jharkhand Polls

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
18th SAARC Summit: An Economic Agenda
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obama’s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
IPCS Forecast: West Asia in 2015
Rise of the Islamic State: Implications for the Arab World
Islamic State: The Efficacy of Counter-strategies
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
The Af-Pak Entity: Seduction to Armageddon?
Maritime Combat Power in the Indo-Pacific
Of Lawrence, Sykes-Picot and al-Baghdadi
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
Obama’s Rapprochement with Cuba
China's Global Ambition: Need to Emulate Germany
Mid-Term Elections: So What If the US Swings Hard Right?


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Rajaram Panda,
"Patching Up?," 24 June 2013
Roomana Hukil,
"India, China, and Bangladesh: The Contentious Politics of the Brahmaputra River," 9 March 2013
Anu Krishnan,
"South China Sea: Revival of the Cold War and Balance of Power?," 8 February 2013
Narayani Basu,
"The Rise and Fall of Bo Xilai," 2 May 2012
Tilak Jha,
"2012 BRICS Summit: What is China’s Significance?," 3 April 2012
Bhavna Singh,
"China's Modernization Rush: Kashgar At Crossroads," 16 January 2012
Radha Vinod Raju,
"Pakistan: Will Democracy Prevail?," 9 January 2012
D Suba Chandran,
"Reading Pakistan: A New Taliban Shura," 5 January 2012
Ruhee Neog,
"China’s ‘Unwavering Policy’ on North Korea: A Print Media Analysis," 30 December 2011
Aryaman Bhatnagar,
"Talking to Tehrik-i-Taliban: Failures and Lessons," 21 December 2011

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Nuclear Security Summit 2012: The Challenges Ahead

Debate: Is a Nuclear Iran good for India?

On Indo-African Nuclear Trade Facilitation

Does Myanmar have Nuclear Ambitions?

After Osama - IV: What are the Global Implications?

Revisiting the CTBT: the US' Conundrum

Sino-Pak Nuclear Engagement-IV: What Can India Do?

WikiWrecks: An Analysis of Terrorism Financing

Sarkozy’s India Visit: The Nuclear Dimension

The Role of Human Intelligence in Counter-Terrorism

Iran’s Role in the Taliban Negotiations: Q&A

Af-Pak: Iran’s Endgame

Iran-Turkey-Brazil Nuclear Agreement

Attacks in Lahore: Buildup to secession?

Nuclear Weapons Free Middle East: Utopia or Reality?

The Iranian Nuclear Conference

Nuclear Security Review: A Must for India

Airline Terror Plots: Lessons for India

Need for an Indian Response in Somali Waters

Obama-mania: Iran is Not Invited

Nuclear Iran: Anathema for India

Pakistan: External Mis-dealings

Unending Drama in Pakistan

Q&A: Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Q&A: Pakistan's Nuclear Bogeyman

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2015
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007
 2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999
 1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1900, Tel: 91-11-4100-1901, Tel/Fax: 91-11-4100-1902

Email:
© Copyright 2015, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com