China – A Po­ten­tial Ally?

Southasia - - Editor's mail -

Southa­sia pub­lished a very timely cover story on the emerg­ing role of China in the re­gion. I par­tic­u­larly liked the fo­cus on China’s in­volve­ment in Pak­istan and its im­pli­ca­tions on the fu­ture of US-PAK re­la­tions. The re­cent nose­dive in rela- tions be­tween the two coun­tries does not bode well for ei­ther of their fu­tures. The Pak­ista­nis may for­give but they never for­get. Too long has Pak­istan been dic­tated by the United States and its poli­cies. It is time to slowly start dis­en­gag­ing from spe­cific al­liances and ex­plore newer and more di­verse op­tions. To be too tightly tied to one op­tion is not in the best in­ter­ests of the state. China has al­ways been a stead­fast friend and an ally that needs fur­ther at­ten­tion and in­vest­ment. From a re­gional and strate­gic stand­point, China will pro­vide Pak­istan with the ad­van­tage nec­es­sary to main­tain a strong pres­ence in South Asia. Eco­nom­i­cally, China pro­vides Pak­istan with a ready mar­ket for goods and a stronger part­ner­ship with it will al­low Pak­istan to re­gain the dig­nity and re­spect it has lost through an un­wor­thy al­liance with the West.

Ahmed Alvi La­hore, Pak­istan

(2) Hav­ing read your cover story on China – The Backup Plan - I was im­pressed by the bal­anc­ing ar­gu­ments pre­sented in Southa­sia mag­a­zine. How­ever, I am of the opinion that China will be un­able to fill the void if Us-pak­istan re­la­tions com­pletely dis­in­te­grate. China has its eyes on be­com­ing a global su­per­power and it will not let petty is­sues act as a hin­drance to its plan. Fur­ther­more, Pak­istan cur­rently re­ceives un­match­able aid from the U.S. Fol­low­ing the floods, the U.S pro­vided $19 bil­lion as part of its re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram. China was not able to match even half of that and nor will it do so in the fu­ture. Solely de­pend­ing on China would be a mis­take and Pak­istan is bound to be dis­ap­pointed. Fur­ther­more, China is mak­ing head­way with in­fra­struc­ture projects in other South Asian coun­tries like the Mal­dives and is ex­pand­ing its mar­kets in the re­gion. Pak­istan has al­ways been pos­ses­sive of its friends and any slight In­doChina in­ter­ac­tion will un­doubt­edly cause con­cerns in govern­ment and army cir­cles. Strate­gic, mil­i­tary and oc­ca­sional de­vel­op­men­tal co­op­er­a­tion should cer­tainly con­tinue but if Pak­istan be­lieves that it can play the China card and call it a win, it is se­ri­ously mis­taken. Na­dia Rehman New York, US

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