Siyasat Aur Pakistan

Tit for Tat Pakistan-China Civilian Nuclear deal: New 1G plant (C-5) for Pakistan

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Tit for Tat Pakistan-China Civilian Nuclear deal: New 1G plant (C-5) for Pakistan

President Musharraf speaking to about 500 people in Edison NJ reiterated that he had signed an agreement with China for a 1G Civilian Nuclear Plant with China called Chasnupp-5 or C-5. President Musharraf also said that Pakistan has Uranium which it can and does mine for its own usage. Pakistan’s indigenous Uranium gives it a definite advantage over Bharat which is dependent on supplies from Australia and the US. This should put Pakistan in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG)!.

World analysts have already said that President Obama’s high profile trip to Bharat pushes Pakistan into a tighter embrace with China. A recent story in Al-Jazeera had Chinese officials declaring openly that “Pakistan is China’s Israel”.  Pakistan is hoping to join the SCO with China and build a new organization with Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia to build local regional structures. Road and Rail links with Central Asia are on top the agenda with the Central Asian Republics (CARs).

America’s pressure on Pakistan is limited.

While the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear deal has languished in paperwork for a decade, China is ready to start work on the 5th Nuclear plant. C-1, and C-2 are in production and C-3 nears completion, C-4 is being constructed.

In addition Pakistan is also working on a Plutonium plant in Kushab.

The Indian Financial Times chose to report this old news its current edition–on the eve of President Obama’s visit to Delhi.

China plans to supply Pakistan with a fifth nuclear energy reactor, accelerating Beijing’s commitments to its energy-starved south Asian ally, according to Pakistani government officials.

Beijing’s growing support for Pakistan, including military hardware, poses a dilemma for Barack Obama, the US president, who arrived in India on Saturday. New Delhi is also becoming more concerned about Pakistan’s close relationship with China.

The supply of a fifth nuclear reactor to Pakistan comes after confirmation this year of Beijing’s agreement to build two 650MW nuclear energy reactors at Chashma, in the central part of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

China has already built one nuclear energy reactor at Chashma and is expected to complete a second at the same site next year. The Pakistan government declined to comment further on the plans for the fifth reactor.

“We have an ongoing programme of co-operation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy with China,” said Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s defence minister.

Washington’s relationship with New Delhi was cemented with an agreement in 2008 to supply civil nuclear reactors, even though India has yet to ratify some of the international safeguards to prevent proliferation.

The US has waffled on a similar civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan, but is reluctant to say no.

Analysts said Mr Obama was unlikely to criticise China’s supply of nuclear reactors to Pakistan publicly because Washington is probably sensitive to Islamabad’s desire for civil nuclear co-operation after the US-India civil nuclear deal. A Chinese official said in September there had been discussions between the two countries about building a 1GW plant in Pakistan, in addition to the two 300MW plants that Chinese companies are expected to build at Chashma.

Not only is China keen to boost its ties with Pakistan, a long-standing ally, but the new deals also reflect Chinese commercial ambitions to become a significant player in the nuclear industry.

Mark Hibbs, an expert on the nuclear industry at the Carnegie Endowment think-tank in Washington, said China could export smaller 300W reactors using technology that it controls.

However, if it wanted to sell Pakistan, or any other country, 600MW or 1GW reactors, it would probably need the consent of western companies that have licensed Beijing to use key technologies. That would give those companies and their governments a certain amount of leverage, he said.

Although China has been talking publicly for the past two months about its intention to build at least two more reactors in Pakistan, Chinese officials have not yet specified how they intend to get around the rules that bar the sale of nuclear technology to countries such as Pakistan that have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

One option would be to argue that the initial agreement with Pakistan was signed in 2003, before China joined the body that regulates nuclear commerce. China plans fifth nuclear reactor for Pakistan.

By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad, James Lamont in New Delhi, and Geoff Dyer in Beijing. Published: November 8 2010 02:59 | Last updated: November 8 2010 02:59

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi and Senator Mushahid Hussain clearly said that the Civilian Nuclear dial between China and Pakistan is an internal matter between the two countries and the US cannot do much about it.

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Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan

President Obama has again repeated that the Bharati role in Afghanistan should be focused on construction activities. Bharat‘s much heralded claim of spending $1.2 billion has come under much scrutiny and has been dis-proven. Most the so called expenditure has been made on Bharati companies which are used as contractors. The road built by Bharat is in total disarray, unnavigable, except by the Taliban who control it. The other buildings are over priced and display shoddy workmanship, much like the Commonwealth Village. The Bharati projects are on hold, pending the peace moves in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has spent billions in hosting betwen 3 to 6 million Afghan refugees for decades, and also in building universities, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also spilled blood for their Afghan brethren which cannot be monetized.

President Obama in carefully crafted words shied away from any political role for Bharat in Kabul. The story in the Hindu is a poignant reminder of how meticulously every word is weighed before it is uttered on Bharati soil.

Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which Afghanistan situation is expected to come up, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday hailed India’s reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation amid his assertion that a “stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

He reiterated that the U.S. will start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan from next year but made it clear that all the American forces will not be pulled out immediately as such a step would depend on the situation on the ground.

“India’s investment in the development of Afghanistan is appreciated… I do think that there are lessons that India has to show to not just countries like Afghanistan but countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr. Obama said during an interaction with students of St Xavier’s College here.

Citing the example of India’s achievements in agriculture sector, he said such experiments could be replicated in rural Afghanistan and even if farm produce in that country increased by 20 per cent it would go a long way in helping the nation.

While talking about India’s positive role in Afghanistan, the U.S. President underlined that all the countries of the region, including Pakistan, have to share the responsibility of bringing about stability in that nation.

“Pakistan has to be a partner in this process (of bringing about stability in Afghanistan). In fact, all countries of the region need to be partners in this process and the US welcomes them. We don’t think that we can do this alone,” he said, asserting that “a stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

His comments came on the eve of his meeting with Singh when the two leaders would be exchanging notes on the situation in Afghanistan.

India has invested 1.3 billion US dollars in Afghanistan and is undertaking a number of developmental and reconstruction projects there.

Mr. Obama was asked whether his decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan from next year reflected acknowledgment that the U.S. was not winning the war.

“When we went in seven years ago, Kabul was intact but rest of the country was deteriorating and we have been largely able to correct that. But, we don’t want to be in the same situation seven years from now,” he said.

He reiterated the decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan from July 20111 but said complete pullout would depend on “military issues and politics“.

Disagreeing with comparison of Afghanistan campaign with that of Iraq campaign, Mr. Obama said institutions in Afghanistan had not developed completely and civil service and police forces needed to be strengthened further before they can take charge.

He supported Karzai government’s efforts to reach out to Pashtun and Taliban cadres who delink themselves from al-Qaeda but made it clear that those who refuse to dissociate would be dealt with firmly. Hindu.

President Obama must have parity in its relations with Pakistan and Bharat. If the US tilts towards Bharat, it will give rise to Anti-Americanism and will  lead to the failure of US policy in Afghanistan.

Keywords: India, U.S., Afghanistan, Indo-U.S. relations, bilateral ties, Obama visit

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Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

Marking the three regions of the Indian state ...Image via Wikipedia

We know that Richard Holbrooke was prohibited from using th “K” word. It seems Obama is also not allowed to mention Kashmir publicly. He did however mention it. Everyone who understand the language of politics knew what Obama was alluding to when he talked about “more controversial issues”. White House officials have already dropped hints that Kashmir will be discussed in private.

MUMBAI – President Barack Obama called on India on Sunday to bolster peace efforts with Pakistan, a country that he said was not acting quickly enough to deal with militancy within its borders.

Obama faces a diplomatic tightrope in fostering ties with India as its economic and geopolitical importance grows while at the same time helping Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and promoting wider peace in Afghanistan.

“My hope is that over time, trust develops between the two countries, that dialogue begins, perhaps on less controversial issues, building up to more controversial issues,” Obama told a meeting of students at a college in Mumbai.

“There are more Pakistanis who’ve been killed by terrorists inside Pakistan than probably anywhere else,” Obama said. (Reuters)

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It is disgusting that President Obama has to go to such lengths to hide his discussions with the Bharati government. Kashmir is disputed territory per several UN resolutions and the US recognizes the dispute. President Obama has let down millions of Kashmiris and Sikhs during this trip by not addressing them while in the land of the Call Centers.

Stephen Cohen: US’s biggest Pakistanphobe

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Stephen Cohen: US’s biggest Pakistanphobe

US President Barack Obama’s arrival in India next weekend will be an important marker in the rapidly evolving ties between the two countries, which have more shared interests today than at any other time in the past.

But can they break new ground on complex issues of the day, like the new clout that China wields or the dangerous stalemate on the AfghanistanPakistan front?

Stephen P Cohen, currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think-tank, who has written several books on the geopolitics of the region, discussed what’s possible, in an interview with DNA during a recent visit to Mumbai. Excerpts:

What does the recent Chinese browbeating of Japan, forcing the release of a ship’s captain who had strayed into Japanese waters, indicate to us about how the geopolitics of the region is evolving? Do you see China becoming increasingly assertive?

I’m not sure whether it was mismanagement by China or assertiveness by China. I remember at the beginning of the Bush administration, they brought down an American airplane, and it was seen to be an assertive, aggressive China, but it turned out to be the reaction of a single People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pilot. So I don’t think you can draw a large picture of the region from a single action.

On the other hand, the Chinese have had an obsession with Japan for a long time. It’s part of their culture and history. They teach their kids in school about Japanese aggression during World War II and so forth.

The American policy, as I understand it, is not to assume that China is necessarily going to be a hostile power as it rises.

But given the size of China’s economy and military, isn’t it inevitable that Chinese influence will dominate the region? How can India match that?

If India had grown as fast as China when China had started growing, it would have been a match for China. But India is 15 years behind China and it may not be able to close that gap. But it’s certainly a different India today than 15 years ago.

Also, I think you have to measure influence and power in different categories. I don’t see the Chinese cultural influence spreading or the Chinese model emulated even in Chinese-speaking countries like Singapore.

India on the other hand has always been a cultural superpower. From East Africa all the way to Southeast Asia, Indian culture, music, films, and sports like cricket are popular.

So I think you can measure influence on different criteria. Take the quality of diplomacy. Here the Chinese are doing very well. I’ve just come from Pakistan, and it’s clear that the Chinese influence there is growing tremendously.

Do you see a waning of US influence in Asia as we go forward?

Our influence has been waning because we’ve been up to our noses in Iraq and now Afghanistan. I agree with the view that we have neglected East Asia and South Asia because of Iraq and Afghanistan. I think Iraq was the biggest strategic blunder in modern American history and pulling out of Afghanistan too early was an even bigger blunder.

But once we sort those things out, and I think they are in the process of being sorted out, I can see the Americans and the Indians working closer together, especially to develop interoperability in naval co-operation.

It’s theoretically possible that China will turn hostile 5 or 10 years from now, although I’m not predicting anything; so consultation and interoperability [between the US and Indian militaries] are important things to do now.

But India-US ties always appear secondary to US interests in maintaining Pakistan as an ally. Can there be any change in this equation?

Pakistan is half an ally, half a problem, and the ‘alliance’ has been one of convenience. We have not seen it as directed against India, but this was the major purpose of Pakistan in seeking US arms.

We all want to see Pakistan moderate how it pursues its interests by supporting or tolerating extremist and terrorist groups. This is a big agenda for both the US and India, but Pakistan should not be seen as a zero-sum game by either.

It is in India’s interests to make its peace with its neighbours; the country that benefits the most from intra-South Asian hostility is China.

How reliable is Pakistan as an ally in the Afghanistan war?

It’s an ambiguous alliance, because Pakistan is supporting us in Afghanistan and also opposing us by supporting the Taliban. I think this is an unsustainable situation. Even the India-Pakistan dispute is not sustainable; sooner or later it will break down into a crisis and people will realise that it is draining both countries of valuable resources, especially Pakistan. So I would hope that the US strategy would be to find ways in which India and Pakistan can co-operate not only on Kashmir but also Afghanistan.

What will it take for the US to see a larger role for India in Afghanistan?

I think India made a mistake rejecting [Richard] Holbrooke’s role as a regional emissary. They were afraid he would raise Kashmir. That’s a legitimate Indian concern, but on the other hand, India has a natural role to play in Afghanistan other than simply telling the Americans ‘you go fight the Taliban’.

How does US financial indebtedness to China affect its influence in Asia? Are economic considerations overcoming the core values and ideas that the US purports to represent?

It’s a factor, but I don’t think the only one. In terms of revolutionary change around the world, what may be more important is the way in which we’ve all acquired a new nervous system: the modern media, television, the internet, messaging, they are transforming the way people see the world and I think that’s probably more important than trade deficits.

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Pakistan wants MOUs, not IOUs

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Pakistan wants MOUs, not IOUs

FM Qureshi says Pakistan will preserve national interest; seek US nuclear deal
WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (APP): Pakistan will preserve its national interests as it partners with the United States in fighting the terrorist threat to civilization, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on the eve of the strategic partnership dialogue between the two nations.The top Pakistani diplomat also renewed Islamabad’s desire to seek a civilian nuclear technology deal from the United States as part of efforts to meet his country’s fast-expanding energy requirements.In a wide-ranging speech at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in Boston, he reminded the distinguished gathering of the festering Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, and urged Washington to help resolve it in a bid to “remove one more source of Muslim discontent and anger, taking oxygen out of the terrorists’ fire.”

The foreign minister will co-chair with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the strategic dialogue on bilateral cooperation in vast array of fields, developments in the region and security issues, including efforts to deal with militants along the Afghan border.

“What we are trying to create is a long-term, mature and mutually beneficial partnership,” he said,Qureshi, who touched on periods of intense engagement and estrangement between Pkistan and the United States in the past, welcomed recent moves towards fostering a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.

“That dialogue, and the coordination of our policies, will define the direction and future of our bilateral relationship; as well as the success of the containment of terrorism and, quite possibly, the very future of the region,” Qureshi said as he pressed for preferrential trade access for Pakistani products and understanding of it’s security considerations.
At the same time, the foreign minister made it clear in his speech that Pakistan is an “ally and not a satellite.”

Islamabad’s chief diplomat listed out Pakistan’s achievements under the democratic government including the effective fight against terrorists, saying the country’s security forces have cleared the northwestern Swat region of Taliban and launched operation against militants in South Waziristan tribal area.

“We will fight together with you for our common goals and ends, especially in our joint effort to destroy the terrorist cancer that threatens all of civilization. But we are first and foremost, like every nation on earth, committed to preserving our national interest.”

Pakistan, the foreign minister elaborated, lives in a rough neighborhood, where it has faced a hostile India on its eastern border and suffered from consequences of successive Afghan conflicts on its western border.

“We live in a rough neighborhood and we will live in that rough neighborhood even if you leave. We have to prepare for all eventualities. We have to protect our borders. You have to respect our sovereignty,” said the foreign minister, who spoke in the backdrop of recent tensions over cross-border strikes by NATO planes.

The foreign minister referred to a mix of challenges and benefits in the current complex regional scenario, where the two countries have been working closely in the fight against terrorists since 9/11 attacks on the United States.

“You have to realize the political price you pay in Pakistan, and that my government pays as your friend, from the almost daily drone assaults on our territory.

“And if unmanned drone attacks were not difficult enough for our people to absorb, the recent attacks by NATO helicopters in Pakistan, killing Pakistani soldiers, were nothing short of infuriating our people.”

In the battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan, Qureshi noted,Kerry-Lugar economic aid measure is one step forward, massive flood relief is one step forward, “but drone and helicopter attacks on our territory and people are two steps back.”

If the markets of Europe and America were open to Pakistani exports, the Pakistani people would have far more faith in their government, support for democratic values, and most of all, a stake in the success of their country, he argued.
“This is the kind of support we need from you. We need trade, not just aid. We need MOUs, not IOUs. We need your Congress to pass legislation creating Reconstruction Opportunity Zones. We need your Congress to pass a Free Trade Treaty with Pakistan.”

Islamabad also wants the US to implement one of the key provisions of an early draft of Kerry-Lugar that would provide one billion dollars in additional economic and social assistance each year if the US President can certify that Pakistan is a civil government and a democracy.

Turning to the impact of Pakistan-India lingering disputes on the region, he said:

“In the plethora of problems before us we have to realistically understand that improved relations between the two nuclear armed powers of South Asia—Pakistan and India—is the missing key to regional peace.”
The issues between India and Pakistan cannot be wished away, he underscored in response to a question.

For decades India has tried to convince the world that unrest in Kashmir is a product of Pakistani intervention. But over the last year, over the last bloody months and weeks, everyone, including India, now understands that the insurrection in Kashmir and Jammu is a long-neglected problem that is not caused by Pakistani intervention, but rather Indian occupation, he told the gathering.

“Pakistan views the prevailing situation in the Occupied Kashmir with grave concern. It has resulted in deaths of more than 100 Kashmiris including women and children. Hundreds have been injured and thousands arrested.” He noted that men and women of goodwill, in both India and Pakistan, know that this issue must be addressed once and for all if the Kashmir time bomb was to be defused. Qureshi sought Washington’s help towards resolution of the decades-old Kashmir conflict.

“On its part, Pakistan is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalize relations between the two countries, by finding amicable solution to all outstanding issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, taking oxygen out of the terrorists’ fire.”

On Afghanistan, the foreign minister said Pakistan wants a peaceful and stable neighbor on its western border.

“We are moving from suspicion to trust and confidence and reached transit trade agreement,” he said of recent progress in Pakistan Afghanistan relations.

“There is a new realization, we need one another for regional stability.” The foreign minister defended the role of Pakistani intelligence service ISI in response to a question, saying no other organization has captured more al-Qaeda fighters.

In answer to another question, Qureshi said Pakistan needs a friendly Afghanistan but ‘it is not for us to impose’ will on the Afghans. He rejected the contention that ISI is guiding Afghan reconciliation talks, adding the process is Afghan-led.

“We want to help them help ourselves because our intrests are interlinked, Pakistan is a very important link to Afghanistan.

“The ISI is not guiding any talks— it is for Afghans to conduct talks – we will help and facilitate,” he said. APP

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The most important city in the world: Gwader the next Dubai

October 19, 2010 1 comment

The most important city in the world: Gwader the next Dubai

Some analysts think that Gwader was the reason for the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the US occupation of the country.  Many thinktanks are of the opinion that the imminent control of the Chinese spells the creation of a new Dubai in Pakistan. The US-Pakistani strategic dialogue is an exercise to prevent the exclusion of America from West Asia. Pakistan holds a key to this important port and is using its geographic location to leverage its clout to gain strategic depth. The US is desperate for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, and Islamabad is helping America cement a peace deal in Kabul.

The sailors of yesteryear, and the nations they represented, Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus and Vasco De Gama stepped over each other seeking a the shortest route to the South Asian Subcontinent. Today many of the same nations plus the ancient powers who are now independent, are seeking the shortest route to Central Asia. Stopping the supply chain that rains terror on Pakistan.

The trade route from Gwadar, on the other hand, to Central Asia and possibly to Russia will pass through only a narrow strip, i.e. Wakhan, in north-eastern Afghanistan. But the real value of Gwadar port lies in its use for Chinese trade with Gulf States, Middle Eastern and European countries. The bulk of the cargo handled by Gwadar port is expected to either originate from or destined to China. And the route for that trade is already nearing to be fully functional. For the trade route to Central Asian states and Russia, the only segment to be built anew is Wakhan part. The construction of that segment, ensuring the safety of trucks in that area, and negotiating the terms and conditions with Afghanistan are more of a need and responsibility of Central Asian states and Russia – and not a headache of Pakistan.

The world’s “busiest and most important interstate,” journalist Robert D. Kaplan says, is the Indian Ocean, with 50% of all container traffic and 70% of all petroleum traffic traversing its waters. It is this region — with China and India jockeying for dominance, the United States trying to maintain its infl uence and unstable regimes threatening the fl ow of resources — that will be the setting for most of the global confl icts in the coming decades.

In his new book, “Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power” (Random House), Kaplan notes that US leaders already realize this, with the Navy suggesting that it will not have a forward operating presence in the Atlantic, shifting to this area instead. But the battle for the Indian Ocean will not be like the conflicts of the past. China, for instance, will not be a straightforward foe like the Soviet Union.

“The real lesson here is the subtlety of the world we’re entering, of which the Indian Ocean provides a salient demonstration,” Kaplan says. “Instead of the hardened military bases of the Cold War and earlier epochs, there will be dual-use civilian-military facilities where basing arrangements will be implicit rather than explicit.” Here, Kaplan runs down the region, including the little-known city that could loom large:


At the intersection of empires, the port city of Gwadar “could become the new silk route nexus,” Kaplan says. The Middle Eastern nation of Oman held Gwadar until 1958, when it was ceded to the newly formed Pakistan. Russia coveted it as a port during its long war in Afghanistan. Now the Chinese are funding a sophisticated, deepwater port in Gwadar. China also is constructing the Karakoram Highway, which connects the city to China through Pakistan. “Come back in a decade and this place will look like Dubai,” a developer says. “Gwadar is the litmus test; it is an indication of the stability of the whole Arabian Sea region.”


Pipelines from Turkemenistan and other countries need to pass through Afghanistan to carry natural gas and oil to the coast. “Stabilizing Afghanistan is about much more than just the anti-terrorist war,” Kaplan says. “It is about securing the future prosperity of the whole of southern Eurasia, as well as easing India and Pakistan towards peaceful coexistence through the sharing of energy routes.”


By 2015, China will be the world’s most prolific shipbuilder, and Shanghai already is the world’s busiest port. Like the US, China sees itself as a benign power. It does not look to occupy other nations (besides Taiwan), but wants to protect its interests and extend its influence. Kaplan believe we will both “compete and cooperate” with them.


“An unsinkable aircraft carrier,” Gen. Douglas MacArthur called it. Kaplan likens China’s quest for the island to the Indian wars in the US; once they were resolved, America could look abroad. If China can consolidate Taiwan, “it would be the real emergence of a multipolar world.”


Soon to be fourth-largest energy consumer after the US, China and Japan, India will remain non-aligned, Kaplan says, but leaning more toward the US. Its answer to the Chinese port at Gwadar was an $8 billion naval base at Karwar. It will hold 42 ships, including submarines.

US fleet

At end of WWII, US had 6,700 ships; Cold War, 600. It’s now fewer than 280. Though the US Navy still has no equal, the way the carrier Abraham Lincoln responded to the tsunami — providing assistance and projecting American goodwill and power — sparked a lot of discussion in China about whether to acquire or build its own aircraft carriers.


A churning mini-empire of nationalities, with an abundance of oil, natural gas and minerals, ruled by a despotic regime. “It is a prize to be fought over, as China and India are not so subtly doing,” Kaplan writes. As with North Korea, Beijing does not particularly like the ruler — Gen. Than Shwe — but supports him anyway for access to the Indian Ocean and natural resources.

“Malacca dilemma”

The Strait of Malacca, the narrow corridor for trade to the Middle East and Africa, hosts 50% of the world’s merchant fl eet capacity; 85% of the oil China imports passes through it. It’s rife with piracy. For now, the US and other nations patrol the area, but China is taking a greater role in keeping the peace.


To bypass Malacca, there’s speculation that China will help finance a new, $20 billion canal in the Isthmus of Kra to provide a faster link to the Indian Ocean. It could be as important to them as the Panama Canal was to us.

ANCIENT TRADE ROUTES CREATING TENSIONS TODAYThe 5000 year old ancient trade routes between Pakistan and China are being revived with modern freeways that were constructed 20 years ago. 5000 years ago the Harrappan Pakistanis were trading with the Chinese.Pakistan is linked to Afghanistan via the Khyber pass. This is Afghanistan’s only access to the ocean. New roads are being constructed to build alternate routes to Kabul via Iran. Because the US does not work with Iran directly, India has been chosen as a proxy to build the road and connect it to the new Iranian port of Chahbahar.

  • US Rehyphenating Islamabad Delhi relationship
  • PAKISTAN, CHINA ROAD AND RAIL LINKS:-The supply routes through Pakistan are a matter of much discussion in Pakistan. Allowing the US access through the Khyber is very unpopular and increasingly dangerous. The Khyber Pass is very hard to go through. It is a long winding valley with no exits. A few strategically placed enemy gunmen can choke the pass. Pakistan to US: No pay-No play: Tough lessons on geography!The Karokaram highway from Pakistan to ChinaThis is an all weather road that connect the Northern Areas of Pakistan to the Chinese Ughuristan. A Loan Agreement for Karakoram Highway Upgradation Project between the government of Pakistan and Export/Import Bank of China was signed here Friday. The qualitative upgrade of the Pakistan-China Road Linkage will further facilitate tourism and trade between the two friendly countries. Under the agreement the People’s Republic of China will provide credit of US$327 million. The KKH upgradation project is being executed jointly by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and the Pakistan’s National Highway Authority (NHA). The Agreement was signed by the Ambassador of Pakistan to China H.E. Salman Bashir and Xin Bin, Deputy General Manager Commercial Loan Project. (PPI) Gwador to Karokaram, Tue, Jan. 22, 08

    CHINESE STRING OF PEARLS PORTS STRATEGY: The Gwader link to China is part of the Chinese “String of Pearl” strategy that encircles India with many naval bases from Pakistan to Thailand.The Chinese have surrounded “India” with a string of pearls strategy with bases in all of India’s neighbors–in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mayanmar (several ports), and the Malacca straits. India is powerless to do anything about being surrounded except for sounding off, turning on an occasional alarm bell and trying to impress Washington by raising a red flag about the grave threat from Mao’s People Liberation Army. India paranoid cries of wolf elicit a yawn and ridicule among the think tanks. The port in Gwader is already functional and is being linked via high speed train, road and fiber-optics to Beijing. The Sri Lankan port of Hambantota is raising hackles in New Delhi and with the defeat of the Tamils on the horizon, Lanka will remain a hostile state for India.

    Chinese string of pearls ports strategy map

    India’s ocean is Chinese lake: “String of pearls” threaten India. CHENNAI: The Gwadar port being built by Pakistan with Chinese assistance in its Baluchistan coast has “serious strategic implications for India“, Naval Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta has said. “Being only 180 nautical miles from the exit of the Straits of Hormuz, Gwadar, being bulit in Baluchistan coast, would enable Pakistan take control over the world energy jugular and interdiction of Indian tankers,” he said delivering T S Narayanaswamy Memorial lecture in Chennai on Monday night. The challenge for India was to balance relations with China in such a manner that competition for strategic significance of space in the Indian Ocean leads to cooperation rather than conflict, he said

  • Encircling India: China’s string of pearl strategy
  • China’s Gibralter (Gwader) and Guantanimo (Hambantota) defies India in the oceans
  • The pressure for countries to cooperate in the maritime military domain to ensure smooth flow of energy and commerce on the high seas will grow even further,” he said speaking on “Oceanic Influence on India’s Development in the next Decade.” Talking about “Chinese designs on the Indian Ocean,” Mehta said China had a strategy called `String of Pearls,’ as per which it seeks to set up bases and outposts across the globe, strategically located along its energy lines, to monitor and safeguard energy flows.

  • India’s ocean is Chinese lake: “String of pearls” threaten India
  • Each pearl in the string is a link in a chain of the Chinese maritime presence,” he said. “Among other locations, the string moves Northwards up to Gwadar deep sea port on Pakistan’s Makran coast. A highway is under construction joining Gwadar with Karachi and there are plans to connect the port with the Karakoram Highway, thus providing China a gateway to Arabian Sea,” he said adding that this could pose a problem for India.Indians think that Gwader is of no value to Pakistan because Pakistan already has two commercial ports of Karachi and Port Qasim. The Indian Naval Chief thinks that the Gwadar port is part of a Chinese strategy.

    “Other “pearls” that China has been developing are naval facilities in Bangladesh, where it is developing a container-port facility at Chittagong; in Myanmar, where it is building radar, refit and refuel facilities at bases in Sittwe, Coco, Hianggyi, Khaukphyu, Mergui and Zadetkyi Kyun; and in Thailand and Cambodia.”Pak’s new port has strategic implications for India: Navy chief, 22 Jan 08


    The pearls in the Chinese strategy.

    Chittagong Bangladesh


    Sittwe Burma

    Coco, Burma Hianggyi

    Khaukphyu, Burma

    Mergui Burma

    Zadetkyi Burma

    Kyun; and in Thailand and Cambodia


    Gwader is the most important Port City n the world. The management of the port was given to the Singapore Port Authority for 40 years. However SPA has failed to develop it at the pace that should keep up with Pakistani aspirations and Chinese requirements. The port is now being handed over to China and this creates colossal headaches for US policy makers.

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    Chinese Air Force refules in Pakistan on way to Turkey exercise

    October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

    Chinese Air Force refules in Pakistan on way to Turkey exercise

    It is learnt that Chinese Air Force planes had re-fueled in Pakistan and Iran last month while on their way to Turkey to participate in a joint air exercise with Turkish Air Force planes. On the way back, they refueled only in Iran. The air exercise preceded the recent visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Turkey.

    Turkey’s agreement to hold a joint exercise with the People’s Liberation Army (Air Force) is significant for two reasons. Firstly, Turkey agreed to participate in the exercise and to host Wen despite the considerable unhappiness and anger caused among the religious elements of Turkey last year over the suppression of the Uighurs of Xinjiang by the PLA. The Munich-based World Uighur Congress, which Beijing blamed for the Uighur uprising in Xinjiang last year, enjoys considerable support in Turkey. Secondly, the Obama Administration does not appear to have opposed the joint exercise despite the fact that the planes of the Turkish Air Force that participated in the joint exercise had been given by the US.

    Some details of the exercise have been carried by the “People’s Daily” of China on the basis of Western and Turkish media reports. The salient points are summarized below:

    Turkish press reports confirmed the unprecedented involvement of PLA ( Air Force) jets in Turkey’s annual joint exercises, known as Anatolian Eagle, held over the centre of the country.

    Army Lt. Col. Tamara Parker, a Pentagon spokeswoman, confirmed European press reports of the unusual aerial military exercises involving U.S.-made Turkish jets and Chinese Su-27 fighters that engaged in simulated aerial combat. She said: “The Government of Turkey is committed to the NATO Alliance and the continuation of strong ties to the United States, and Turkey assured us they would take the utmost care related to their possession of U.S. and NATO technologies.” However, she did not address the issue of whether the Chinese military might have learned sensitive NATO aerial combat information.

    Jane’s Defense Weekly, quoting Turkish diplomatic sources, stated that the exercises involved less-capable U.S.-made F-4s and Chinese Su-27s, but not the more advanced U.S.-made F-16s.

    Ed Timperlake, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot and former Pentagon technology security official, said allowing the Chinese Air Force to exercise with a NATO ally posed security risks. He said: ‘The Turkish Air Force helping the PLAAF to see NATO combat tactics and training is a very bad idea. It is deadly serious stuff.” He said the exercises and Turkey’s warming relations with neighboring Iran should lead the Pentagon to rethink its decision to sell the new F-35 jet to Turkey. Richard Fisher, a specialist on China’s military at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, also criticized Turkey’s military for conducting aerial exercises with a communist power that posed a threat to U.S. and allied security interests in Asia. “It’s not a good thing,” he said.Mr. Fisher said Turkey in the late 1990s used Chinese technology to jointly develop short-range B611 missiles.

    The Tehran Press TV Online reported that Iran opened its airspace to the Turkish and Chinese jets.

    The daily “Hurriyat” ( of Turkey?) reported that Iran indirectly supported a secret military drill between the Turkish and Chinese Air Forces. Four drill-bound Chinese SU-27 warplanes that took off from bases in China refueled in Iran – the first time the Islamic Republic has ever allowed foreign warplanes to refuel at its airbases, the daily said. The Russian-made SU-27s used by the Chinese Air Force had to refuel in both Pakistan and Iran because of their limited 3,500-kilometer range. Official letters were sent to the two countries prior to the exercise requesting the use of airspace and passage and refueling privileges. The warplanes refueled a second time in Iran on their return to China. The exercise was conducted after two years of deliberations, the report said, adding that its sole purpose was to improve mutual cooperation between the two friendly countries. Washington contacted Ankara ahead of the drill to express concerns over the planned use of F-16 warplanes in a military drill involving China – which the U.S. considers a possible threat. “We expect you to honor the agreement article that requires the exercise of caution regarding the transfer of technology to third countries,” the memorandum read. American concerns were taken into consideration and F-16 fighters were replaced by older F-4 models in the exercise.

    The “China Daily” reported on October 15 that a new Strategic Concept expected to be discussed by a NATO summit to be held in Lisbon next month proposes regular consultations with countries like China and India. The paper said: “However, there is slim hope that China will put on its own agenda the cooperation with the NATO, according to Tao Wenzhao, a professor at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “NATO has been eyeing deeper ties with China for some time, because they are looking for substantial help from China to ease things up in Afghanistan, a nine-year-old war that has required the deployment of 150,000 multinational troops,” Tao said. But even if Beijing is supportive of anti-terrorism measures, China remains a country firmly committed to non-alliance. Moreover, it is unlikely China would carry out in-depth cooperation with NATO, an outcome of the cold war, said Tao.” (October 16, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian)

    ( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

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