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21 May 2011


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Like the headline in the Lofton Post.....here is another relationship that won't change. (if would if I had anything to say about it...but...)

Whatever would happen in Pakistan, and whatever the consequences were, or were not, I wish they would happen without the US. I'll take my chances.

But it will stay the same because people continue to think we are "stuck" with each other.

William R. Cumming

General Ali! Question? Is China the Ace in the hole for Pakistan vis a vis dependence on the USA?


China cannot and likely will not allow itself to be played as a card by Pakistan against the US. No doubt that Beijing will publicly back Pakistan to the hilt and will likely provide a backstop to any UN Security council moves by the US. China is also likely to increase weapons platform supply to Pakistan but it will NOT do the following:

1. Provide cash asssitance
2. Underwrite any hasty Pakistani misadventure especially if it means openly confronting the US
3. Support any moves that could enhance the capabilities or encourage its own Muslim separatists

Net net, Pakistan can try to play the China card but it still needs the US for cash support and for the IMF loans that prop up its economy

FB Ali


"Is China the Ace in the Hole for Pakistan?"

Pakistan would certainly like it to be (many Pakistanis believe it is). Pakistan would also like the US (and others) to believe that. As they (rather crudely) tried to show immediately after the recent problem with the US.

I agree with JYD that China, while letting Pakistan claim and believe that, will not back Pakistan unconditionally. The Chinese need to cultivate and prop up Pakistan as a counter to India. But there are limits to how far they will go in this behalf.

It is interesting that the Pakistani delegation that recently visited China came back talking about China building the port of Gwadar. This is a long-term Chinese objective, and is likely to have been raised by them as a quid pro quo.

China plays a very long-term game (unlike, perhaps, the US).


From the Chinese media:

"Any over-interpretation of Gilani's ongoing visit to China will prove to be superficial and speculative".

http://www.xinhuanet.com has no mention of Gwadar nor of the 50 JF-17 Thunder aircraft. All the stories trace back to Pakistani sources only.

From Dawn:

"But the statement was silent on an important point: whether China will wait till 2047 for taking over the port. According to the concession agreement between Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) and PSAI-AKD group, signed on Feb 6, 2007, the arrangement will be valid for 40 years."

From elsewhere:

""We have cancelled six MOUs (memorandums of understanding) with the United States in the fields of health, education and solid waste management," said Rana Sanaullah, law minister of Punjab, the country's political nerve centre. "We have told their concerned departments about our decision. This is our protest against the Abbottabad incident."


The News, Pakistan:

"The Chinese leadership, the diplomatic sources told The News, had agreed in principle to help Pakistan to bridge its budget deficit and to provide a soft loan for rescuing its economy.

The leadership, however, "declined to oblige the desire expressed by Islamabad for fiscal assistance", the report said.

Beijing said that China, as part of its policy, does not "give hard cash as financial assistance to any country", the report said."


The Chinese leadership has asked Islamabad to "mend its fences" with all its neighbours, including India, and expressed concern over terrorists still "flourishing" in centres on Pakistani soil, a media report today said.

The message from the Chinese leadership was conveyed during Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to China that ended yesterday, The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying.


The Pakis have tried to play the China card ever since they decided the USofA wasn't suitably accommodating to their terrorist activities against India and any nascent Affie regime not in the pocket of the ISID boys.
The Chinese, having bigger fish to fry, haven't been willing to play along, so Gwadar remains a Paki wetdream, without suitable road or rail links into the interior.
Now the Punjabis (who are losing control over the army to the Pashtuns) are refusing USG largesse designed to improve health and education, as well as help them get rid of the "solid waste" (a euphemism for what the Paks are best at producing).

Ingolf Eide

Many thanks for the recommendation, Furrukh. Excellent article, and well written to boot.

P.S. I enjoyed the "perhaps" in the last line of your above comment.


Another point that I hope Brig. Ali can shed some light on.

From reports, it appears that ISI chief LtGen.Pasha went to China and/or Saudi Arabia 2-3 days after the Abbottabad raid.

It seems to me that the military was initially defiant and truculent but mellowed down quickly. Gen. Kayani reportedly told some journalists last week that "Pakistan has to know its place and we cannot take on the US at this time" (paraphrasing)

I'm wondering whether the Chinese privately told the Paks to get real and clean up the jihadist mess, or something to that effect?

FB Ali


I haven't seen these reports. I doubt very much that Pasha could have paid such visits in the days immediately after the Abbottabad raid -- he was too busy trying to deal with the fallout from it.

It certainly is possible such visits (by him or other emissaries) took place later; after all, there was a lot of explaining to be done.



Tribune, Pakistan: BEIJING: 
China said on Tuesday it had not heard of Pakistan’s proposal for Beijing to help it build a naval base, pouring cold water on a plan that would likely stoke regional jitters about the two countries’ relationship.


Richard Clarke to Bill Maher on Pakistan: They are such pathological liars they even don't know when they are lying any more.

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