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China Pakistan alliance fail to fluster India

China’s dynamics with its nation-state peers consistently position the former at a hierarchical advantage.

Indian flag Photo: Reuters

China’s dynamics with its nation-state peers consistently position the former at a hierarchical advantage. The Belt and Road Initiative, by nature, augments Chinese influence over states’ attitudes and cultures by proxy of political and commercial support under the veneer of philanthropic assistance; the beneficiaries of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) purposed technological and infrastructural “altruism”—primarily Central Asia, North Korea, Africa, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan—lean with a cordial orientation in their engagement with the Communist giant. Skeptics, however, find the professed intentions of said global diplomatic endeavours, at best, dubious.

Pakistan is an ally, with which China has had a deep and rich diplomatic history. Independently, these states have little in common; yet, their ideological and cultural divergence has ultimately been inconsequential in their formulation of foreign policy. These superpowers deviate in the ends they attempt to realize, but the commonalities they do share are not arbitrary, and even account for their unlikely alliance.

The theocratic inclination of the Islamic Republic and the dictatorial disposition of the CCP are borne by their shared predilection for militarization. Pakistan, without its closest ally, has little diplomatic influence to merit any considerable support from its Arab neighbours or international agencies for its crippling internal and external challenges; in addition, without the CCP’s aid, it can no longer adequately employ its intimidation tactics without the big brother to back up the vapid theatrics.

In its quest for military dominion, Pakistan has shown no qualms in assuming the post as a CCP acolyte. Its military prowess is a mere demonstration of China’s technological philanthropy—a trivial expense in the latter’s global-expansionism ledger. The CCP’s alliance with Pakistan—most distressingly demonstrable by China’s brazen metaphorical stamp on Pakistan’s arsenal—positions the communist administration as an abettor and accomplice to state-sponsored terrorism.

Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe’s Islamabad visit on December 1 was a transparent effort at reassuring an insecure Pakistan amidst tensions with the sovereign democracy geographically situated between the ethically corrupt regimes—India. China’s aspirations of a Sinocentric world have been continually decelerated as India—among many free states—ceases to tolerate the exploitative operations that define its administration.

Beijing and Islamabad, however, erroneously assume that their military and economic coalitions can twist India’s arm into submitting to Chinese expansionism as well as Pakistan’s military-enforced religious fundamentalism. With Shaheen-IX, the latest in the series of air force spectacles between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), the sentiment they seek to promulgate is one of strength in communion against India.

Nonetheless, the ubiquitous understanding that the Pakistani military repertoire is de facto run-off Chinese technology— only with a Pakistani paint job—is far from controversial. With this knowledge, it remains curious as to why Pakistan continually portrays itself as a CCP sycophant by means of trade deals that call into question its claim as a sovereign nation, and ineffectual joint military demonstrations that are spearheaded by China. The recent Pakistani legislation that in effect seizes civilian control of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and surrenders it to the Pakistan Army, only adds to the contention.

The two states fail to consider that these demonstrations occur not within a vacuum, but on a global platform. Ergo, either one of these governments’ status as a bad-faith actor—furthered by ideologies that are defined by fear, apartheid, and absolute control—in the diplomatic sphere, curtails the influence of its military exhibition. Nevertheless, it is inevitable in the long run for the Sino-Pak alliance to drift apart as soon as Pakistan’s role as a pawn of the CCP is handicapped by the states’ philosophical incongruence—Pakistan aspiring to establish a militaristic theocracy, and China being adamantly anti-religious, with a strong emphasis on global economic domination.

In any case, India and its allies—in tandem—function on a higher technological and strategic plane, while occupying the principled stance; it makes little logistical sense for its enemies to toy with India. The fashion of administration of the Indian government has proven time and again, that when pressed, retaliation would not be in kind; severe action will be—and has been—taken to deter its boisterous and war-mongering neighbours.

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