Is Pakistan Doing Historical Blunder in its Relationship With China ?

Pakistan and China signed a formal contract worth $350 million for development of Saindak Copper-Gold mine. The mine was leased for a 10-year period to Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd. (MCC), a subsidiary of the China Metallurgical Group Corporation.


by N.S.Venkataraman

( January 23, 2017, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Ever since the birth of Pakistan around 70 years back, Pakistan has been maintaining cordial relationship with China. Though Pakistan was a close ally of US and other western countries by signing several pacts earlier, it’s relation with China remain unaffected.

In the last few decades, Pakistan has moved even closer to China and has taken China’s support for granted, while working out it’s foreign policy strategies and even economic development programmes.

Pakistan’s relation with China reached a decisive stage when Pakistan readily gave up territory in what is known as the Trans Karakoram Tract in 1963. This has been a disputed territory claimed by China and Pakistan could have resisted the demand of China. However, Pakistan ceded the territory to buy peace with China.

In the later years, Pakistan’s relation with China blossomed and China supported Pakistan in variety of ways in several international forums and China has also extended economic and industrial support to Pakistan , which it badly needed. In such circumstances, Pakistan appears to be convinced that China is a bosom and all time friend.

Pakistan unconcerned about China’s expansionist ambitions !

In it’s over enthusiasm to forge relation with China , it is surprising that Pakistan has failed to take note that expansion of territory and dominating east and south east Asian countries has been a long term objective of China.

As part of it’s expansionist plans,, China has been consistently adopting appropriate strategies including over riding the neighbours by military force or economic and diplomatic aggression. It appears that Pakistan has no suspicions that Pakistan too may be in China’s orbit.

China’s forced occupation of Tibet by marching it’s military into the helpless and militarily weak Tibet and putting down the Tibetan liberation efforts with ruthless action was the first indication of China’s aggressive plans. Later on, it waged a war with India in 1962 and occupied large tract of Indian territory in the Himalayan region and it continues to do so.

Recently, China has also stepped up it’s claim that Arunachal Pradesh, a province in India , belongs to China and is adopting an aggressive posture in it’s claim.

China’s dispute with Japan over territory of uninhabited islands that the Chinese refer to as the Diaoyu Islands and the Japanese call them the Senkaku Islands and China’s dispute with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, concerning ownership of the Spratly Islands, a group of islands and associated “maritime features” (reefs, banks, cays, etc.) located in the South China Sea ,are further instances of China’s territorial ambitions.

It is surprising that the strategists in Pakistan have failed to take note of such attitude of China towards it’s neighbours, which has caused huge concern amongst neighbouring countries in east and south east Asia. Are the strategists in Pakistan as naïve as this ?

Is China gradually gaining control over Pakistan?

China is now implementing 54 billion USD China -Pakistan economic corridor project comprising a collection of projects currently under construction at the cost of $54 billion.

The project aims to facilitate trade along an overland route that connects Kashgar and Gwadar, through the construction of a network of highways, railways, optical fiber and pipelines. This project will benefit Pakistan by upgrading it’s infrastructure and paving way for economic growth.

However, China is considering the project to be an extension of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative and the importance China attaches to the project is reflected by its inclusion as part of China’s 13th five-year development plan. Obviously, this corridor being built by China is a part of it’s strategy to dominate Pakistan over the years.

Gwadar Port being built by China features prominently in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor … The port is located 533 km from Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, Satellite images via Google Earchth that surfaced showed a Chinese submarine docked off Pakistan’s Karachi port in May 2016. The class of submarine mentioned in the report are equipped to carry torpedoes and cruise missiles.

Pakistan and China signed a formal contract worth $350 million for development of Saindak Copper-Gold mine. The mine was leased for a 10-year period to Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd. (MCC), a subsidiary of the China Metallurgical Group Corporation.

Last week, a consortium led by Chinese firms has signed a strategic agreement to acquire 40% equity of Pakistan’s stock exchange for 85 million USD that would facilitate China’s entry into the Pakistan capital market.

Pakistan has to guard itself from becoming a satellite of China:

Pakistan has a running conflict with India ever since it was born on various issues, particularly the Kashmir dispute. Over the years , India and Pakistan appear to have developed an obsession with each other leading to each of them arming itself against the other.

In such circumstances, Pakistan has leaned towards China in greater measure than any sovereign country should do.

With some part of Pakistan unfortunately becoming a home for terrorists and Pakistan government unable to put down terrorism on it’s soil, economy of Pakistan is facing uncertainty. Such conditions would inevitably weaken any nation, which would make it a ripe ground for domination by any ambitious neighbour.

With China’s expansionist plans now becoming widely known causing huge concern amongst the neighbouring countries in east and south east Asia, Pakistan has to take extra care by avoiding over dependence on China ,which can potentially reduce it to the level of a satellite country for China.

The question is that Pakistan after having gone so deep in it’s relations with China and committing itself to the Pakistan China economic corridor which will provide unrestricted entry for China into Pakistan, will Pakistan be able to extricate itself from the clutches of China?


Illustation courtesy: herald.dawn.com

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