Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pakistan and China

From China's official press agency:
(Apr. 30, 2007)- Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, revealed on April 26th that the country was considering constructing a pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Arabian Sea to China and Pakistan, without passing through the Strait of Malacca. Currently, China is helping with port construction in Gwadar of Balochistan Province. The Gwadar deep-water harbor will have an advantage in facilitating the transportation of oil by land to China.

Framed in terms of the "Malacca Dilemma" by Hu Jintao, China has long sought to diversify its sources of energy away from the Strait of Malacca. About 80 % of its oil imports travel through this corridor between Indonesia and Malaysia, representing a crucial chokepoint in the case of a dispute between powers. The proposed pipeline between the Gwadar deep water port, and Xinjiang province, would have partly alleviated this strategic vulnerability.

Pakistan has traditionally maintained good relations with China, partly as a balance against India. In Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard", it is identified as part of a "Regionally Dominant China's Sphere of Influence" (page 167). Therefore, in the pursuit of dominance over Central Asia's energy resources, the United States government needs to undermine the relationship between the two countries.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the frequent U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan's Northwest territories are militarily worthless. They kill many more civilians than Taliban, and are not disruptive to its leadership. They do serve to destabilize the region, which makes sense in the context of a projection of U.S. military influence.

Destabilizing Pakistan's civilian government, already on an IMF loan and receiving U.S military aid, gives the U.S. great leverage. It increases the odds that the Pakistani military 'must be' given greater influence to help stabilize country, and the civilian government weakened, or forced out. Through that, the U.S. can, if necessary, install the proverbial boots on the ground in Pakistan. This would not be in an occupying role, but in a training and advisory role. (It is possible that U.S. special forces are already guarding Pakistan's nuclear weapons.) A similar strategy of influence is being attempted in Iraq and in the Mindanao province of the Philippines.

In large respects, U.S. geo-political aims in Pakistan are close to being achieved. Beijing's influence has diminished greatly. For instance, they did not extend a substantial loan to Pakistan during its current economic crisis. Given the instability, it's now impossible for the Gwadar-Xinjiang pipeline to be completed. The pipeline would also have been a tool for developing the impoverished province, decreasing the possibility of regional splintering on China's Western edge. As well, the U.S. has strengthened a long-term military presence within a stone's throw of the energy states in the the heart of Eurasian continent.

The U.S., through its chief bastion of dominance in world affairs, the military, is furthering its strategic position in the 'Great Game'.

Source: Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas


For those who think Obama is too bright-eyed to think in this manner, consider a quote from an unnamed source regarding his pressuring of Chrysler creditors:

One person described the administration as the most shocking "end justifies the means" group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama was "the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger." Not sympathetic characters in their own right, they do offer a view of how the administrations strategizes.


Related articles on China - Pakistan ties, in relation to the Gwadar port and proposed pipeline: 1 2 3


Related Post: U.S. to Increase Military Trainers in Pakistan

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