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US disguised hand behind China-Pak relations

10:01, September 08, 2010

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By Li Hongmei

The New York Times in a recent report had claimed that around 11,000 Chinese troops were present in the Gilgit-Baltistan region administered by Pakistan. China, however, dismissed the report saying it was designed to provoke China-Pak relations and also hurt its already volatile ties with India.

Sure enough, the report was quickly echoed by the Indian media who in chorus bawled China out for its “aggressive posturing” on issues critical to India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

India has long been wary of the iron-clad China-Pakistan relations, and of late its concerns have been heightened after the allegedly Beijing's denial of visa to a senior Indian army commander on grounds that his command included Jammu and Kashmir.

Although India flays even the Chinese plan to build dams and other infrastructure projects in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US seems to have more often fixated on the strategic and military indications behind the ever strengthening China-Pak ties. On this assumption, China’s reach to Pakistan is pigeonholed by some American military strategists as a muscle-flexing showcase of China’s upsurge in regional and international military clout.

With the unfolding US--S Korea joint military exercises off the Chinese coasts and the rub occurring in the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea, in addition to the suspended bilateral military communications, Sino-U.S. relations are currently on quite a bumpy course, tense mounting but mutual trust descending. The recent media hype about “Kashmir issue” coincides with the circumstances in which the U.S., after its Iraq pullout, is anxious to recalibrate its strategic focus to Asia.

Given this, the U.S. would attempt to take the handle to tame the increasingly “ambitious” China to ensure its smooth “comeback” to the region. For this, it has to collude with India, whose nerves would always be frayed even at the rustle of leaves from China, and whose resentment of China is still simmering.

The U.S. strategic intention hidden behind its intentionally created smoke screen on the Subcontinent is driven home by what Andrew Small, a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, was once cited as saying, “China-Pak relations must involve other strategic and military factors, which would undoubtedly vex the U.S.”

He further pointed what profoundly concerns the U.S. is China’s nuclear deal with Pakistan, which the US. views as a challenge to its predominance over the non-proliferation issue and the Subcontinent.

Earlier, the U.S. also poked its nose into the China-Pak relations by twisting facts about China’s aids to Pakistan’s severe floods, trying to drive a wedge between the tested friends. More absurd, it even went so far as to try to fan up a donation race between China and India. This time, it plays the same old trick, but borrowing the Indian’s hand to meddle in China’s standard practice, and the traditional relations between China and Pakistan.

The US intervention in China’s relations with its neighbors is by no means incidental. Their logic is simple: any potential challenger to Washington in Eurasia should be the target of US global strategy.

China has not wavered from the road of peaceful development and the building of good relationships and partnerships with its neighboring countries, including both Pakistan and India.

But viewed from the geopolitical security, China and the US might as well see each other from a constructive angle, rather than glare at each other and spew fire at each other at almost every turn.

By People's Daily Online

The articles in this column represent the author's views only. They do not represent opinions of People's Daily or People's Daily Online.

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About this column

Li Hongmei, editor and columnist of PD Online.


Li HongLi Hong

After 19 years working for China Daily and its website, Li Hong moved to english.people.com.cn in March 2009.

Li has been a reporter and column writer, mainly on China's economy and politics.

He was graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and once studied in University of Hawaii and the Poynter Institute in Florida.

Dai MinJohn
Dai Min

John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min, the executive producers and co-hosts of the Collaboration of Civilizations television series adapted by the eight books they wrote in the America-China Partnership Book Series published in English and Mandarin in 2009-2010 that created the "New School of America-China Relations." They founded the America-China Partnership Foundation and Forum in 2008 and the Center for American-China Partnership in 2005, which was recognized in 2009 as "the first American think tank to combine and integrate American and Chinese perspectives providing a complete answer for America and China's success in the 21st century."