Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

China and Pakistan -- a worrisome relationship

By Aussiegirl

This is a very important article and must be read to understand why Bush's trip to India is so important, because, as the concluding sentence states, Pakistan may eventually stop being an ally, and we will then need India all the more to counter China's increasing power and influence in Asia.

FrontPage magazine.com :: China Heads West by Robert T. McLean

The War on Terror has given birth to a renewed American focus on Pakistan as the South Asian nation’s role has become instrumental to the United States in its operations in Afghanistan and in its overarching aspiration to destroy al Qaeda and Taliban remnants. However, China has maintained a close partnership with Pakistan since shortly after its independence in 1947. The extent of the relationship between Beijing and Islamabad was highlighted last week with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s visit to China. As military and economic cooperation grows, the United States may soon find that they cannot match the “all weather friendship” offered by Beijing.

[...] The fact of the matter is China is expanding its military and economic cooperation with Pakistan in an endeavor to establish a strategic foothold in the gateway to the Middle East.

[...] The relationship is reaching such a stature that, according to the Lahore based Daily Times; Pakistani Information Minister Rashid Ahmad proclaimed in his recent trip to Beijing that “Pakistan will stand by China if the US ever tries to ‘besiege’ it.” With this virtually unreported commitment, Pakistan seems ready to join China in its increasingly dangerous Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO is a six member alliance headed by Beijing and Moscow, and together with its Central Asian members, the organization is becoming an expanding adversary to the United States and its allies.

[...] Beijing and Islamabad have maintained close relations for fifty-five years and that does not appear likely to change anytime soon. With increasing military, economic, and political cooperation between the two states, a traditional alliance is brewing that is likely to leave the United States wondering what went wrong. The port of Gwadar is only going to bring China and Pakistan closer and strengthen their standing both in the region and globally. Current and future administrations must labor to keep Pakistan as an essential ally in the War on Terror. However, they must also be prepared for the entirely possible eventuality that one day Pakistan may not be an ally at all.


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