China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn

Dec 19, 2018 · 211 comments
Rodrian Roadeye (Pottsville,PA)
When you help others build infrastructure instead of arming them with weapons to fight wars you undoubtedly open up trade avenues to benefit all involved. But helping by weaponizing is so American and China should avoid this at all costs.
Rodrian Roadeye (Pottsville,PA)
China is rapidly replacing us on the world stage and with a possible alliance let's say of Russia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and other nations is not just a threat to our existence, but a credible one at that.
vijay (india)
The real BIG concern is the beidou system that can be used for precision guidance of pakistan's nuclear missiles. By letting Pakistan use this system, and under the color of a "Belt and Road Initiative", China is out to create a new threat to the world, including pakistan's nuclear adversary India, by letting Pakistan use chinese facilities to bolster nuclear weapons delivery. It would not be wrong for the U.S to take this seriously and early on chinese intentions , otherwise 10 years hence you will face a real threat from Islamic extremism now armed with nukes and chinese delivery facilities, to threaten countries ranging from india to israel.
Green Tea (Out There)
And tell me again how much international prestige, how many alliances, and how much trade on favorable terms we were able to gain with the THREE trillion we spent in Iraq.
Paul (VA)
Trump’s art of deal. Make sure two others get deal, and US security gets even worse. GOP and Trump are now the vassel of China, Putin and anyone else who trump thinks he can bully!
A S Knisely (London, UK)
But why should the USA care? The Chinese will soon make themselves as heartily loathed in Pakistan as we already have done, or as they have in sub-Saharan Africa; and Islamism will add pepper to the Pakistanis' loathing of their overlords, with the hatred of Han Chinese that is now being sown in Xinjiang finding an echo in the Pakistani ummah. Then the history of Pakistani double-dealing and betrayal toward nominal allies: Just how did North Korea get its nuclear technology? Will the Pakistanis shrug when suicide-bombed Chinese die in swarms, saying, Nothing to do with us? Will the Chinese themselves defend their acquisitions against Islamist terror? Quite a lot of railway to guard... Nothing like foreign war-without-purpose, war-without-end, to sap resources and undermine authority -- Vietnam for the USA, eastern Europe for the USSR -- and soon Pakistan for China. Perhaps foreign policy in this area for the USA should be: Go for it, China. Knock yourselves out. We'll make popcorn.
Mondoman (Seattle)
Since positioning system receivers don't transmit signals, the claim of the Chinese government being able to track users of the Beidou system seems mistaken.
JamesHK (philadelphia)
Haven't we seen this movie before? a Communist giant funds countries all over the globe. Heres how it ends the cost of the aid, along with an ever growing military budget end up bankrupting the giant. The US can either freak out (again) and get into another global chess game. game about the red mence or jsut If China wants to fund Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc great heck if only we could get them to take over for us in Afghanistan
Rich Murphy (Palm City)
I guess what works in New York City real estate development doesn’t always work in the rest of the world. Pelosi couldn’t be bullied into paying for the wall and now we are taking money away from Pakistan and they’re going to give it to the Chinese
Ashraf (karachi)
Obviously we in Pakistan are going to keep mum about the treatment of uighur Muslims and other inconvenient facts such as the plight of the rohingya since China backs the Myanmar government. Such is the nature of dependency and the lack of vision by our leaders who have labeled the obor initiative as a 'game changer' and even a 'fate changer'. However the question is how will the game change and for whom?
Randy (New York)
" Chinese officials have repeatedly said the Belt and Road is purely an economic project with peaceful intent." Haven't we heard that line before regarding the stolen reefs in the South China Sea? If you believe it, I've got a bridge to sell you.
Imdad Hussain Thebo (Lahore )
It is only option left for Pakistan to partner with China. US has time and again stabbed country behind the back. When US enjoyed closer ties it too violated Pakistan's sovereignty at record level. Drone strikes and continued accusations of supporting terrorism had harmed Pakistan's prestige and sovereignty in international realm. US stood Iron clad with India despite its close relationship with Moscow and continues to do so. S-400 DEAL and sanction relief are examples. So Pakistan has obviously one option China. It has made considerable investments both in military and civilian infrastructure. Why should then Pakistan beg US which has repeatedly abandoned country at crucial junctures.
Gurinips (India )
I feel the deeper and hidden agenda is still not presented in the article or the comments I have gone through. China has nothing to do with economic development of Pakistan. That is Just a bait. Pakistan is a Muslim country and there can’t be any affinity between a communist nation and an orthodox relihoius nation . The only idea is to make Pakistan economic slave , control it’s major infrastructure for mobility and trade and the use it for military purposes to counter powers in Indo Pacific region and Encircle India. It is true that China is using its Dollar reserves for economic subjugation of sovereign poor nations for its long term military agenda. Sri Lanka is one minisicule model,example. These acts of China can be easily correlated with statements of past leaders of China. Mr Pence is 100 percent right as he is well informed .
Neil (Texas)
An excellent report with great maps. This report says something about how little India has a sway in this part of the world which you would think by it's sheer size it should have. Yet, the reporter does not even mention the country. India - mired deep in political corruption of - age of and some new age politicians - fighting personal issues and vendetta's and not national interests - have caved in - without knowing - this Chinese power grab. What do they say - an enemy of your friend is your enemy - and enemy of your enemy is your friend. It does not take a genius to figure out China and Pakistan embracing each other. China has defacto encircled India - without India even recognizing it. Very soon, if things were to go bad - it will have no escape route or for it's friends - if it had any - come to it's aid in a military setting. I am surprised that the report does not mention growing antagonnism between Pakistanis and imported Chinese labor - who live in very isolated, sterile surroundings. Just last month, I forget which city - a Chinese consulate was attavcked and ransacked. Finally, the Chinese, despite it's swagger, are going to realize - what we know with our own experience of recent years - dealing with corrupt regimes has steep costs. And often these steep costs are much higher than just monetary.
just thinking (MI)
Thinking Pakistan policy in the context of Sino-US relations as this article does, and as most analysts do, is not going to solve the concern raised in this article. Military and Islamists have considerable say on civil governance in Pakistan. To make their democracy more perfect, such that it reflects the voice of Pakistani civilians better has to be the US policy objective. People in Pakistan, like all others in South Asia are looking for economic emancipation. China can not deliver this developmental need, it has only exacerbated trade imbalance, and there is no scope for correcting it. The realistic option is economic integration with India. Economic integration of Indian subcontinent requires overcoming deep rooted communal divide that caused partition. Emergence of right polity in India, that is trusted for being secular by Indian Muslims is now creating conditions for overcoming the communal divide with Pakistan. A real breakthrough in Indo-Pak relations towards economic integration is quite likely after 2019 central elections in India. Societal change in democracies are complex, gradual processes and it evolves in multiple dimensions. Given the population sizes, it is a humungous one. Let us appreciate the complexity inherent in this change process, let no hare brained strategic thinking derail the democratic process, as it often did sadly in Pakistan.
Penseur (Uptown)
Pakistan has the opportunity, perhaps a destiny, to expand westward and thus to control the oil fields and other mineral wealth of Iran -- and the vast, untapped copper ore in Afghanistan. They have the means in military-aged manpower, a military tradition (inherited from the Moguls), and are a nuclear power. Perhaps this move into an expanded air force of jets that can provide close support to advancing armor and infantry is part of that realization. What other world power would bother to oppose that expansion, or feel an incentive to do so?
Charles Becker (Sonoma State University)
So this Belt and Road thing is kind of a Chines Marshall Plan, right? It seems like out of the goodness of their hearts, the Chinese are just pouring money into under-developed areas to spur growth so, what? … the locals will become better customers, suppliers, and trading partners? BTW, that Gwadar port looks like a real piece of work, at the end of a 2000 miles road to nowhere? Commercial ports only exist to connect buyers and sellers, so the buyers are ... where? And the sellers are 2000 miles away?
Chris (Germany)
As much as I abhor the man otherwise, the one thing Steve Bannon has got right is that the PRC is neither a friend nor a strategic partner but a mortal enemy of the West. The mindframe (at least of its leaders) is not unlike the one displayed by Germany on the eve of 1914, a nation frequently wronged and humiliated in the past 200 years it is now entitled to a place in the sun and at least Asian hegemony. It did not end well in 1914 and is unlikely to end well now.
Enabler (Tampa, FL)
What?! The Chinese have worldwide military ambitions? I had no idea... I guess that explains the military satellite communications station in Argentina, among other projects. There is no doubt about it; the 21st century will be the Chinese century.
thewriterstuff (Planet Earth)
While our president tweets his foreign policy, China has been quietly colonizing the world. From building train lines in Kenya, to ports in Sri Lanka, to islands in the South Pacific they are making it impossible for countries to say no. They own Hongcouver, they own the biggest dairy in Australia, are building hydroelectric plants in Laos, and have bought the Prime Minister of Cambodia. Every grocery store in tiny Jamaica is run by the Chinese. Malaysia has declared openly that they have been colonizing there, but like Vancouver, too late now. As I travel the world, I see their influence in almost every country. They have a population that is under constant surveillance and controlled from birth until death. While we worry about Russia (a second world country at best), China is placing infrastructure around the world to do their business. What they can't buy or build (intellectual property) they steal. Their country is full of cities with roads and factories already built, just waiting for an industry to come along. When they build abroad, they use their own people to run things. They have a plan and they don't really care about what others think about pesky human rights or the environment. Meanwhile, the US gives tax breaks to the top 1% and talks about spending 5 billion on a wall that won't work.
Ted chyn (dfw)
It was the US who militarized the space on 1983 by initializing Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, Star Wars) under Reagan. The intent of this program was to develop a sophisticated anti-ballistic missile system in order to prevent missile attacks from other countries, specifically the Soviet Union. Many countries include China, India, Japan, and others are following the US example by extending their military technology to the realm of outer space.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
There are more than a few similarities between the way China is "courting" Pakistan now and the way US wooed India after deciding that it can be used as a counterbalance to China. Indeed Chinese are fast learners.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
We once had the resources to do what China is now doing. We squandered our resources on ill-conceived, ludicrously expensive, and ultimately failed military adventures. While we were burning money, and borrowing like mad as well, China was building its economy and infrastructure. Now China is beating us at our own game. Trumps trade war isn’t going to change that - in fact, the self-defeating, chest thumping “Tariff Man” gambit is merely an exercise called “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” or in words nearer and dearer to all those “Second Amendment people,” shooting yourself in the foot. Either way, call the doctor - our nation is bleeding to death from self-inflicted wounds.
Hasan (New Jersey)
It is most certainly a military port too. For instance, if the US were to implement a sea blockade of oil going into eastern China, which is really from where China conducts most of its economic activities, China is in serious trouble. The US has 11 carrier groups - thus the most powerful Navy in the world. Using just two or three of these military assets, it can impose oil blockade against China anywhere in the sea passage across India, Singapore etc..This in case there is US-China conflict over South China Sea. The Gwadar port gives China a back door option of getting oil from the Middle East and prevent a US oil blockade. Hence Gwadar is of vital importance to both China and Pakistan. I am just surprised it took the New York Times so long to write on this - in some detail. People both in the West and East, must come to terms that the world has changed and containing China and others will only lead to more death and destruction. The time has come to live and let live. One more fact: China and Pakistan announced the construction of the Gwadar port in May 2001. By the way there is a book out there, which was written in 2014 covering exactly what the Times has now written. Except it is in more detail. The title is: The End of the Great Game.
Realist (NY)
As China gets more of Pakistan, we will get more of India
Aamir (Calgary, AB)
Somehow because of the biasness and urge for domination is the main reason for the problem of the world, we had a habit of seeing things in black or white, if you like someone if he or she is committing whatever sin for you they are innocent but if you didn't like someone they are guilty on all counts. China is doing trade with whole world his biggest trading partner is US, debt ratio with US is beyond our imagination but why China is doing trade with his western neighbors, why China is seeking thise routes which is away from US eye (South China See). Every independent country had all rights to do business with anyone and China is doing that, he is not only dealing with Pakistan but with central Asia, Russia, Turkey list go on. The problem is that India is having problem with CPEC, Pakistan and China invited them so many time to joint hand but they refused why? No one knows or every one knows. India's business community wants to do business with his neighbors but hardliners doesn't want that actually where ever hardliners had upper hand no matter that is Muslim country or Hindu or belongs to any religion they want conflicts, that is their playground if their is no conflicts than hardliners cannot play. Pakistan does pay the price to be act as an hardliners but after 40 years of useless Afghan war, after play as a slave for world power they realized that we should focused on our people prosperity but this turnaround doesn't like by some of our friends.
Major Tom (Florida)
Pakistan is at the cusp of an IMF bailout and achieving a $6bn loan from the IMF in addition to assistance from Saudi, UAE and China totalling another $6b, would mean that the country has yet again played its cards well. The crux of the article is to heed international lenders that Pakistan would not use an IMF bailout to repay Chinese loans. But the world we live in today, giving credit to a country with any potential to repay is a forgone conclusion. Pakistan may well get another chance, its yet to be seen whether its ailing economy can actually turn around under a heavy burden of debt.
Freesoul (USA)
Pakistan with all its faults, corruption and its questionable record, has been an all weather ally of United States and has been involved in conflicts on its behalf at a great cost. But the short sighted tilt towards India as a result of intense lobbying and disinformation campaign by India has pushed Pakistan towards China and is likely to harm United States's strategic goals in that part of the world. India, run by right wing Hindutva brigade which hides behind the facade of democracy and secularism while being the biggest threat to minorities including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits has voted more than 80% of the time against America in United nation. It has violated Iran sanctions and has just bought weapon systems from Russia for which even President Trump was furious. We have a huge trade deficit with India which dumps its goods almost duty free while protecting its industries by levying up to 100% import duties on American goods.
anjali gangoli (India)
@Freesoul India's rich and diverse population includes 20% minority communities such as Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs , Zoroastrians etc. Thanks to the secular Hindu majority, all communities by and large, coexist peacefully . Educated people from minority communities hold high positions in various fields and it would not have been possible for India to become the fastest growing economic powerhouse that it is today , if it's people felt threatened. Contrast this with the abysmal track record of Pakistan , with it's miniscule number of Hindus and Christians , who live under the constant threat of discriminatory, blasphemy laws. Frankly I don't see how your rant against India is relevant here. No sane nation will want to lend to a country that is home to only one thriving industry- terrorism. Why China has done so is clearly explained here. India , on the other hand has to deal with two unscrupulous neighbors and will do all it can to protect it's sovereignty. Pakistan should know this, having lost the 1971 and 1999 wars against India.
AP917 (Westchester County)
@Freesoul An "all weather ally of United States" does not hide Osama Bin Laden in its military base.
df (nj)
To be fair, the Russia weapon sale is part because Russia is using India as counterweight to China. not all decisions are made with usa in mind. Russia China don't completely get along as you might think Same with Russia sales to Vietnam, phillipines. China see interference by Russia but can't say because of their propaganda
Vijai Tyagi (Illinois)
The dollars that China makes selling cheap goods mainly to the US, it invests in lending to any country in the world, including the US. Asian and African countries needing development are its prime customers because the initial loan terms are very attractive, but the loan converts to equity in case of default. The likely default or near default is almost always the planned Chinese endgame. Just look at the sea port of Sri Lanka that the Chinese confiscated despite the public uproar there. Above and beyond this, there is a real danger of serious military conflict in the region, between Pakistan and India, because of Chinese funding of military projects in Pakistan. History shows that when Pakistan becomes overconfident of its military might it launches military adventure against India. Since its decisive defeat by India in 1971, it has not done so. It is only fighting proxy battles via terrorists in Kashmir, because such battles are what it could possibly afford to fight, short of a full scale conflict with India. Now with the Chinese funding big military infrastructure in Pakistan, the scenario of full war might be less remote. This warrants US attention lest the situation get out of hand in the next few years. Such a conflict will likely have consequences throughout the Indian ocean and Southeast Asia because of Chinese involvement on behalf of Pakistan. This will alter the geopolitical economic balance against the US in the region for a long time to come.
Veena Vyas (SFO)
@Vijai Tyagi Yes to all you have stated. US and India have always been partners on defense. But this changes the balance, now India has to contend with the formidable force of 2 neighboring countries that do not like India and more over want to occupy Indian land. With the current politics in US and India's massive corruption, instead of tackling the climate change, we are now facing a dire straits of the tilting balance of the defense of the 2 countries. Wonder how this issue will be dealt with by both India and US.
Tom (Parsippany, NJ)
@Vijai Tyagi "the scenario of full war might be less remote" It's a curious conclusion. When someone, China in this case, heavily invests in projects, naturally they would want their investment safe and secure rather than risk it all in a war.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@Tom The CPEC road from East Turkestan (Called Xinjiang by the Chiense) into Paksitan is via the North Western parts of Kashmir , territory which India considers its own , but in advesers posession of Pakistan. This act of building a road thru what India considers its territory, in collusion with Pakistan itself sets up the scene for a future conflict .
AK (Cleveland)
The fact that CPEC project faces in Pakistan has a military dimension beyond its much publicized trade aspect is not an issue within Pakistan. The countries have a close military alliance short of a overt treat for joint defense. The real problematic aspect of CPEC is with respects its economic objectives. China will get access to a major port, that China has built in Baluchistan, closer to markets in the Middle East and Europe. What will Pakistan get other than a closer military alliance with China? CPEC is supposed to create jobs for Pakistanis. However, that seems to be not happening, especially when it comes to high-end jobs. Import of Chinese human resource has potential to foster social conflict in this traditional and conservative country. Already, there have been reports of social tension between locals and Chinese workers.
Tamza (California)
@AK Pakistan gets the infrastructure, energy, and the longer term revenue stream from the traffic on the highways!!
Usok (Houston)
I think Pakistan has no alternative under the threat from India and US military partnership, but to turn to China and Russia for help and assistance. Whether that will work is to be seen. But China's road-and-belt initiative certainly made Pakistan more important and prominent. With better transportation and power generation in the near future, only Pakistani will benefit and enjoy the results from the joint belt-and-road projects.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
Pakistan already showed the US, years ago, that sufficient pressure on Pakistan would only get cut off the US supply line into its Afghan war. We cannt go to war with our own supply line. War runs on logistics, and can't be done that way. This article misunderstands the Belt and Road. It portrays a military threat. I really wonder if the people spinning it that way know the truth or believe their spin. The truth is that China has a development problem. Its remaining undeveloped spaces and population are in its west, not on its coast. Development now is limited by very expensive shipment east across the whole of a very large China, only to be put on ships and go back again the other way taking a long way around Singapore to do it. A road from the west of China to the west, down to the coast of Pakistan, is much shorter and cheaper overland, to put the product on ships already more than half way to the markets. This is about opening to economic development a part of China that is bigger than the whole US, and rich in natural resources too. China is big now economically, and this would make it huge. The Belt and Road is about the further rise of China's economy, not a military expansion. The ports can be seen on Google Maps photos. They are not military ports. They are container ship terminals, for just two or so ships each. The channels are narrow, and there is no anchorage nor space for a military force to dock or even anchor. This just isn't military.
wsmrer (chengbu)
@Mark Thomason Something like that except the development of land transportation across Pakistan is very difficult because of mountains terrain and hostile indigenous tribes. China will bypass the Singapore bottleneck thru Malaysia to the Indian Sea in time; shipping then by cheaper means of cargo carriers whenever possible. The port in Pakistan then become a way station and when needed a navel base.
Dana (NY)
For those who espouse a peaceful economic purpose and premise for China’s rope burn ties to their neighbors, I have a bridge for sale, but you will have to perform debt loops around your own wrists to effect the sale. But it’s cheap. Good luck Pakistan. China’s current formulation is shackles and reprogramming. Ask their Muslim population.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@wsmrer The CPEC runs across the part of Kashmir that in India is considered as Indian territory that is adversely held by Pakistan.
R Murty K (Fort Lee, NJ 07024)
The development taking place in Pakistan as shown in these photographs is impressive. Gwaddar port is massive. I am surprised it is still not connected to the highway between Lahore and Karachi. Pakistani soldiers are well dressed, and the scene of their marching / drilling on perfectly leveled shiny marble floor is unique. Sahiwal Power plant is grand even though it is coal powered. Pakistani satellites would improve communications and bring people closer. Pakistan is well on its way to modernity. Hopefully, the neighboring countries don't clash ever, and exchange sweets on Holi festival day every year.
MM (Dallas)
Well said Mr. Murty
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@R Murty K Yeah ,right. When the so called "CPEC", runs through territory claimed by India (the parts of Kashmir held by Pakistan) , there is no way this CPEC will be accepted by India, not withstanding Chinese claims of CPEC as "purely" economic and not "political" and Chinese "urging" (can you belive the cheek of it) the CPEC /Belt & Road extension to India. Face it, India is the only non dead beat & economically vibrant country that can absorb the massive Chinese economic capacity that they have built over the years and needs to find export markets, if those investments are not to go bad and eventually come back to haunt China. Good luck with trying to thumb India's , by running the CPEC through Indian territory and into bed with Pakistan that continues to send terrorists into India.
wsmrer (chengbu)
No surprise here as the return of The Cold War shapes policies in Washington. China as enemy is threaded through seemingly all commentary on China and the hoped for alignment of ‘Asian powers’ as a counter to China always includes India. Pakistan has become a natural extension of China’s assistance. For America to view the inclusion of a Military element unworthy of BRI peaceful intent curious when all its multinational offerings include our major export Armaments as standard operating procedures.
Jeff Stockwell (Atlanta, GA)
If the development benefits the Pakistanis 60% and the Chinese 40%, then it is good. But there is no doubt that authoritarian China is growing bigger and stronger. That is a 100% problem.
Dheerendra Singh Ranawat (Jodhpur, India)
Pakistan is well on its way to becoming a Chinese colony. The debt burden they are taking on is insurmountable for a country like Pakistan that has no industrial base or sizable exports. All of Pakistan will go the way of Humbantota port in Sri Lanka. When the debt comes due will the same highways to China be used to export terror to Xinjian to gain at least some leverage. Remains to be seen but this is not looking good for India or the world at large.
Tamza (California)
@Dheerendra Singh Ranawat. It can also help in making Khalistan a reality. [Khalis = Pak] the two should collaborate.
TTC (California)
China, the enemy. The one narrative that can bring the U.S. together.
Desi (Florida)
Trump’s buddy Modi and his party is loosing in India. That’s good news. Pakistan has Imran Khan ready to work with the neighbor. India and Pakistan may find it’s in their people’s best interest to each drop US & China, and come together in a regional alliance with Modi gone. Info-Pakistanis are one people. Religious extremists in both countries need to be reigned in to make progress.
Dheerendra Singh Ranawat (Jodhpur, India)
@Desi Modi has been around for less than five years, remember? Before him India was governed by the "peace-loving" Congress party. Did that prevent terror attacks on the Indian parliament, or the Mumbai massacre or countless other terror attacks? Don't let your hate of Modi fail you from looking at the facts. As long as the Pakistani military controls the establishment in Pakistan there will be no peace.
MikeM (Idaho)
@Desi They are not one people. I don’t know why you people keep harping on that. I’ve been to Pakistan and India and noticed the subtle differences. Just because France and Germany are white doesn’t mean they are the same people. Please stop!
heinrich zwahlen (brooklyn)
China wants to be our equal also when it comes to untrustworthiness. And the US has definitely been very untrustworthy and even deceitful from day one in its short history. So if we can‘t be trusted why do we expect the trust of others? That’s just more of the same inappropriate Amerincan exceptionalism.
John Brown (Idaho)
This effort by the Chinese will fail when the loans come due again and again and cannot and/or will not be paid. If China does not know better than to fly its flag over a power plant that they built... However, in the mean time China L.T.D. continues to take over the world. I only hope your children are learning Chinese in school and realise that when the Chinese take over their company they lose any and all rights as workers.
Suppan (San Diego)
@John Brown If the Chinese are going to take over our companies and strip us of our rights as workers, why should we be learning Chinese again? In China smart people, ambitious people are all learning English. Some with English tutors so they have a "sophisticated" British accent. It is a terrible misconception amongst American elites that everyone should learn Chinese to prepare for the future. Anyone who understands the way the world has worked for the last 200 years realizes that pretty much all Computer software is written in English-based languages, and a majority of world markets and governments have English based rules, trading systems and laws. To succeed in the future one needs to be able to navigate in this world, not just be able to break bread and have a dinnertime conversation with a Chinese business group or executive. Which is why smart and ambitious Chinese folks are learning English, and meeting at parks in the evening so total strangers can practice their English speaking skills in conversations with each other. Meanwhile Tom Friedman and Ivanka Trump are teaching their children Mandarin.
Scott Everson, RN (Madrid)
China scheming with Pakistan encourages India to finally step up to become again the world power it once was. Go ahead China, please, buddy up with Pakistan.
MM (Dallas)
@Scott Everson the only time that India was a world power was during the Mughal period. Even then it was really a regional power. Of course the officially sanctioned BJP revisionist history of India is methodically relegating the Mughals to a minor role in the history & development of India.
Ash (New Delhi)
@MM may be you have not read theIndian history well..pl read the Maurya period and Gupta dynasties
Nancy (Great Neck)
A Chinese rocket boosting two Pakistani satellites into orbit from Jiuquan, China, in July. [ The Chinese are helping many countries with their space program. This is not the least bit problematic. We need to stop showing disdain for the Chinese and start appreciating what they have accomplished and accept their willing friendship. ]
John Gaskell (Singapore)
@Nancy Uh, the satellites allow them to have greater precision that our GPS system allows them. That's not good for anyone, except Pakistan and China' military.
wsmrer (chengbu)
@John Gaskell US satellites lack that feature? The days of a sole military power are drifting away; that is likely healthy for all as alternative uses of that power drift away.
Tom (Parsippany, NJ)
China and Pakistan are close, and they have been cooperating on many fronts including military for decades due to their common perception of threats from India. Other countries participating Belt and Road don't necessarily follow what Pakistan is willing to do with China. In general, infrastructure building helps with economic development. China itself is the beneficiary of infrastructure construction within its border. That's a key reason China has become the manufacture hub of the world. But each country needs to consider its own financial resources and other factors to decide what is best for them.
John Gaskell (Singapore)
@Tom But China's Belt and Road projects only benefit China as they are financed by China and built by China, not the host country. The only thing the host country gets is a road they have to pay interest for (aka debt), kick backs to their politicians (see: Malaysia), perhaps a seaport they don't control that can function as a forward operations command post for China, and access to China's satellite navigation system, which requires they stay in the good graces of China. But what's not to like, right?
Tom (Parsippany, NJ)
@John Gaskell Roads and ports themselves facilitate economic activities. Host countries certainly can benefit from that. As this report indicates companies under Pakistan military also participate in the construction, which is another way for the host country to gain economically. China is not doing Belt and Road for charity. The host country should have people with expertise and experience negotiate the details. On the other hand, with all the push back from some of earlier projects, China would not want to trap dozens countries deep into debt on such a large scale. That would damage China's reputation and not be in China's long term interest. If the agreement is set up correctly, it could be win-win for both China and host countries.
wsmrer (chengbu)
@John Gaskell Right with National leadership cutting a desirable contract and some thought to cost-benefit, but that is the crook’s last concern when funds flow. Not a uniquely Chinese problem in the business world
Ismail (Cleveland)
This is what i think poor diplomacy from US. Pakistan has been long geopolitical partner with US for last 70 years, it should continue supporting democratic ( so called) govt rather than turning a blind eye. While China is investing more in Pak military which is again poor choice since dynamics will change towards civilian supremacy soon i bet whether with IK or NS. India is in a win win situation because of it’s population dynamic plus being in US ally. If US supports democratic govt. in Pak that will be the best chance to hold China on backfoot.
John Gaskell (Singapore)
@Ismail Why continue to support Pakistan's government when they are literally working with ISIS, Taliban, and whatever Islamic militant group that will help it suppress its neighbors and keep the military leaders in power?
Suppan (San Diego)
@Ismail The US has supported every form of govt. that Pakistan has come up with, and with very little good to show for it. Pakistanis should first support democratic govt. in their own country, and take civilian control of the military and actually of their civilian govt too. As for China, that is a problem the US has to face irrespective of Pakistan.
NC Hammer (Karachi)
@John Gaskell US created ISIS after Al Qaeda, US created Taliban. US corrupts leaders of countries, US assassinates leaders who plan to sell oil in another currency, US has aggressive designs, US has used Pakistan repeatedly to its advantage in every war in the region. Pakistan doesn't want US support. Its been a loss making relationship for Pakistan financially and culturally. US wants a corrupt regime in Pakistan to block Chinese success. Its the US that has a problem with other countries, it likes to meddle to maintain world dominance. But after waging wars to defend economic inequality the US has lost world respect and support. US criticism of Pakistan or any other country is now taken with a grain of salt.
Nancy (Great Neck)
The confidential plan, reviewed by The New York Times, would also deepen the cooperation between China and Pakistan in space, a frontier the Pentagon recently said Beijing was trying to militarize after decades of playing catch-up.... [ This is completely absurd. The Chinese space program is meant to be international in inclusion and is open to international scientists. What nonsense this disdain for China is. China has been at peace these 40 years of development and will remain so. ]
BL (NJ)
Someone Hopes It’s Last Light
Clyde (Mumbai)
Aggressive actions at the border with India, annexing Tibet and militarizing contested Islands in the South China sea...is that what you call being at peace?
John Gaskell (Singapore)
@Nancy Sounds like Nancy is a big fan of China.
AG (America’sHell)
China is in a geopolitical partnership with Pakistan to counter India's alliance with America. No one ever assumed Belt & Road was anything but a web of political, economic and military connections. The cash burn rate for military expenditures on this planet is its shame.
Veena Vyas (SFO)
This is extremely scary. China has no intention of peace and Pakistan always fights with India. India has always been weary of Pakistan and suitably defended itself and has always powered itself. But with the formidable China and cohorts with Pakistan, the task is unimaginably humongous. China with its recent economic power just want to destroy the world giving loans and building infrastructure to the poor nations, and consequently not only making them completely lean on China but they are also destroying the flora and fauna. Now India has to truly arm itself against this double threat. India and US have always cooperated in terms of defense. But this takes the game to a level that was not thought of a decade back. There goes the tackle to deal with the imminent Climate Change in a puff. We humans are just pawns in our own discomfort of distrust with each other. We are own nemesis. How and what should be done to put a stop to all this nonsense.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@Veena Vyas I know the view from SFO can be pretty limitied. India can take care of itself. We took care of ourselves, when BOTH , US and China propped up Pakistan against India , and indeed a far weaker (economically and militarily) India back in 1971 broke Pakistan into two and liberated Bangladesh from the Paksitani clutches despite China and US pumping Pakistan with money and material. Thanks, we will be fine. And India is NOT a US ally. That "honor" is Pakistan's , which the US has designated as a "Major Non NATO Ally" .
SR (Boston)
In a century or so (or even less), Pakistan will cease to exist and then future historians from the US and China will study and wonder how their nations propped up this forever failing society - Pakistan is but a reject state formed by disgruntled Indian Islamists - the state will perish - and America not China carries the blame for 70 years of propping it up so far.
ThePragmatist (NJ)
@SR. Perhaps Pakistan will cease to exist, or it may survive. But the language that you’ve used I suspect is the type that allows the Pak military justification to continue to blame India and cozy up to China.
Vijai Tyagi (Illinois)
@SR Pakistan will keep stumbling along as it has for its history. The possible reason for it to 'cease to exist' is its break up in to 4 parts- Baluchistan, Northwest Frontier, Punjab and Sindh. Baluchistan, 40% of Pak's territory, is in revolt and the Gwadhar port built by China is located there, so it might be a target in the Baluchi war against the Punjabi dominated establishment. Everyone is against the Punjabi establishment and wants to separate but only the Baluchis are working at separation. They have some support from India, but not much else.
Muhammad Abdullah (Lahore)
@SR Thanks for your amazingly futuristic analysis of the next century. Regards, Muhammad Abdullah Lahore, Pakistan
Frank (<br/>)
The main point of the Chinese Military Classic 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu - is deception - win by deceiving your opponent - say one thing and do another. As this text was written 'roughly 771 to 476 BC' that means China has been using this technique for - oh - like two and half THOUSAND YEARS ... When the Chinese talk about wanting PEACE in other countries - that means they want a PIECE of those countries.
Tom (Parsippany, NJ)
@Frank Although you made a fun analysis, the history indicates while China might make territory claims in its region, it has never ventured far from its core. In contrast, western powers took pain to travel half a world away to set up colonies.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@Tom The Chinese diaspora is massive in SE asia. Name any country there and the Chinese tend to be among the business and political elite. That this massive Chinese migration was due to massive, hunger , famines and wars in China in the previous centuries is a different story. The Chinese "cultural" bases is already there in nearly ally of Asean.
Tomoko (Brooklyn)
No surprise. Pakistan is a huge problem. It’s opportunistic for China. Pakistan is one place.The Saudi arms deal is as corrupt as could be and that will unfold soon. While we are in domestic focus caused by Trump and the GOP every nation analyzes how to play it. We could well see China in South America, Central America and even Mexico.. This will be accelerated by Trumps lack of diplomacy at home and with allies as well as his accurate border actions after all parties administrations ignored illegal immigration for over 40 years. The Democrats can’t win without a secure border and deleting illegals is important. We have more illegals than any batik. Could tolerate. Trumps boasting of American military prowess has accelerated Chinese, Russian and yes North Korean arms and nuclear production. Our domestic Trump issues and the border caravans are accelerated by social media to Spanish speaking countries and that’s the smoke screen for these military actions. China and Russia military aspects will be in South America if we aren’t on point. Meanwhile no more illegal and no more birther babies from illegals. That birth right needs to go.
Sarah Johnson (New York)
The West simply does not want competition for business and strategic influence from China. This strikes me as a well researched and reasonable article, except for the fact that it plays the game of the West - critically report on China for beginning to be successful in the approach taken by the the colonial-imperialist West. The U.S. and the West want to compete by not letting anyone else play the games that have worked for them.
Vijai Tyagi (Illinois)
@Sarah Johnson China 'competes' by its own rules, not the internationally accepted norms. Stealing military technology and corporate trade secrets at unprecedented scale, manipulating currency, and cheating on trade deals, are some of the methods that the west does not employ, at least not a scale that China does.
Nancy (Great Neck)
The Belt and Road program is indeed peaceful in intent and execution as we find in every direction. That Pakistan needs military assistance to secure the development program in the country makes perfect sense and should threaten no other country. Pakistan must protect its development projects. I find no problem here,
Veena Vyas (SFO)
@Nancy "I find no problem here". Please read the history of the sub-continent geography and politics dating back to several hundred years back to the current times.. You will understand why it is huge issue, and it is a cause for concern.
Syed Abdulhaq (New York)
US deceived Pakistan time and again, even though right from its independence in 1947, Pakistan faithfully carried out the wishes of America. It joined CENTO and SEATO; helped US in providing intelligence bases in Gilgit;and helped the breakup of USSR by providing training and assets to Mujahidin in the eighties. Musharraf, Zardari and Nawaz acted as slaves and surrogates for the Pentagon. It is time for Pakistan to assert her independence and have good relations with China which has been a true friend of Pakistan over the decades.
Veena Vyas (SFO)
@Syed Abdulhaq China has no friends, and it has always a very ulterior motive when it gives such massive infrastructure to countries and they become totally dependent on China. For the future of the children of both the countries i.e. India and Pakistan, they both need to set aside their differences and start focusing on building and uplifting the people. I see parallels in both the countries in terms of the issues they both face. Please read about China and how it is using it's economic power to control the world and become a super power.
jaco (Nevada)
@Syed Abdulhaq They also helped hide Osama bin Laden, and support the Taliban. They are no friends of the US.
Vijai Tyagi (Illinois)
@Syed Abdulhaq Yes, Pakistan has worked for America since its very birth for rather low wages, I would say, but I would not call it friendship. If one calls it friendship. maybe in disguise, or perhaps one of a special kind, much as in the days of slavery, there were instances of slaves being 'friends' with the master, at least the slave thought so. Now, the China is offering a deal to Pakistan which it thinks is 'better', so I would say Pakistan has decided to 'change and take a new job'.
MikeM (Idaho)
It is sickening to see so many users with Indian names being so negative towards Pakistan. I’ve been to both countries and can confidently say that Pakistan has nothing in common with India maybe except both parts were unified by the Mughals and the British. Pakistan is developing a unique culture different from India’s. I noticed the people on the borders regions have different traditions and culture, not to mention religions. Pakistan and India can’t never be unified or form a federation. I don’t understand why so many Indians commenters are talking to Pakistan as it will just give up its values to be with another brown country.
Veena Vyas (SFO)
@MikeM You stay in Idaho then, and do not comment about the politics and geography and Indian names that causes you untold sickness. You must be another ignorant American, please do some research and try to understand the game of politics, super power, economics, that gives tremendous power to nations to control the world. This article points out and it is humungous issue to deal with, and an added headache, when we collectively should be addressing the Climate Change, instead now the world has to face the inevitable power of China, all set to control and destroy the world.
Muhammad Abdullah (Lahore)
@Veena Vyas How is it "all set to control and destroy the world"???
DK (Baripada)
@MikeM Hello Mike I have a suspicion that you know India and Pakistan better than Idaho. I have lived in Idaho Falls long enough to understand that an Idahoan is very less likely to use the terms like "common Federation", "it's just Mughals who unified it". These talking points are straight out of ISI's propaganda rulebook and less of a historical fact. I am sure this version of history are not taught in U Idaho or BYU I will take your theory about very different tradition and culture seriously once Pakistanis in USA stop running "Indian" restaurants. Finally, what is really sickening is to see many Pakistanis masquerading with Anglican names and parroting some discredited propaganda.
A van Dorbeck (DC)
Muslims in China and Pakistan may pool their resources and destabilize this artificial integration of countries that have little in common except for a specious threat from India.
Sonny Sandhu (Durham, NC)
Let China have Pakistan. We have given them $45 billion in Aid, and state of the art F-16s! What we gotten nothing in return. We do not need Pakistan as an ally.
Waqas (Swabi KP Pakistan)
@Sonny Sandhu Yeah, you are right. US is using Indian Roads and Airbases to reach Afghanistan.
MM (Dallas)
Mr. Sadhu you have to be living in a cave!! Pakistan has sacrificed more in the war on Terror than any other country. Without the efforts of the ISI and the sacrifices of the Pakistan armed forces none of the leadership of Al-Qaeda would have been captured or killed. Mr. Sadhu stop before you raise OBL. It took the US (with it’s tremendous intelligence resources) 10 years to track him down, why is it that Pakistan was supposed to have the ability to track him in half that time?
Suppan (San Diego)
@MM Not to get into your spat with Sandhu (not Sadhu), but it took the US 10 years to find Bin Laden because he was in Abbottabad, Pakistan. If he was in Amarillo, Texas, they would have got him in a few weeks. What is Pakistan's excuse?
John (Miami, FL)
How about that huh? Proof positive that spewing hate and bigotry at the rest of the world will work against you in the long run! The Chinese are doing the same thing in Argentina and other parts of the Americas. Pretty soon America is going to find itself surrounded by hostile powers on all sides thanks to Trump's idiotic policies. This is what happens when you act like the school yard bully on a global scale. Everyone bands together against you.
M.R. Khan (Chicago)
@John Well said, when Trump expresses disdain for all people who don't look like Norwegians you better believe the rest of the world is listening and the disdain will be reciprocated.
Gerald (Portsmouth, NH)
As the recent exceptional NYT series reminded us: China took the conventional, unimaginative minds of the United States political class by surprise. My brother who opened up the Chinese market for a major furniture retailer two decades ago told me to expect the speedy emergence of a new world superpower, lead by smart young bureaucrats. And here we are: the worlds’ greatest ever infrastructure project with all its promises and alarm bells. Young China makes the United States look like a toothless old man. It’s hard to say which nation will represent the greatest danger in the coming decades. I have some ideas, though.
Vijai Tyagi (Illinois)
@Gerald The Chinese language and culture does not export itself well. The Chinese money does these days. The US language, culture and values, despite flaws, have become world's culture and values, like it or not. People are blindly following American manners, even body language, even without realizing it, even the Chinese want to some study here. Not true by any stretch of imagination for the Chinese culture, and it does not look like it is going to be. Without social and cultural influence which comes with language, thought and value import, capital investment alone loses its value with time, perhaps a long time, but it will since it is only a transaction, though a large one in case of Pakistan and China.
Gerald (Portsmouth, NH)
@Vijai Tyagi Thanks for the response. The US century was the 20th. While it’s true people around the world still adopt superficial aspects of its materialistic culture, many of the same people despise our culture. I doubt that the Chinese are interested in exporting their language and culture now but this is a culture that takes the long view of history. Who else would talk about “a century of humiliation?” Perhaps it’s hard to fully imagine the consequences now, but American cultural domination is on the wane. It’s the prospect of a surprisingly clueless superpower slowly disintegrating that most troubles me. How the Chinese will use their newly superior commercial power remains to be seen. But money is power. We only have to look at our own politics to see that.
Rajesh Kasturirangan (Belmont, MA)
I know the new party line is Russia is hacking the world and China is buying the world, but why not think about these developments from the Pakistani POV? They are a large, impoverished nation with hostile neighbors, insurgencies in every corner and a reputation for violence that drives business away. Then there's the unfortunate fact that Pakistan is in the middle of the great game. It's an unenviable position. As I see it, Pakistan is making the best out of a bad hand. One obvious move is to play the geopolitical rivals against each other. Get some money from the Chinese and use the threat of Chinese encroachment to get some more money from the West and KSA. Meanwhile, China is also trying to play an internal game while extending its influence beyond its borders. Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, is a lot closer to Islamabad than it is to Beijing (Google it - it's about half the distance). While they can incarcerate Uighurs in concentration camps, the Han have to be worried about revolution coming across the Southern Border - that's how the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, remember? Also remember that the US funds Islamists when it suits them - in Afghanistan & Syria. Spending a few dollars keeps the ISI on the Chinese side rather than on the side of the separatists. I am not saying that the Chinese aren't spreading their wings; of course they are trying to; and as an Indian it concerns me quite a bit. However, casting Pakistan as a dupe is equally flawed.
Ed Watters (San Francisco)
The Chinese are just doing what Washington has been doing for well over one century: projecting military might. To China's credit, they are also aiding countries' infrastructure development - the US uses the IMF and World Bank to exploit countries.
N.R.JOTHI NARAYANAN (PALAKKAD-678001, INDIA.)
In its attempt to evict soviet troops from Afghanistan, America has strengthened Pakistan with sophisticated arms and aids. In its attempt to make high profit with cheap manufacturing units, America has armed China with its technology of the gamut of entire products patented in USA. The past three decades, the successive presidents of both GOP and Democratic have been sleeping a Hare in oval office and China has been a steadfastly and silently racing Tortoise that crossed the victory post as a live example for the popular Aesop's Fable. There is an ample lesson to learn for the political parties in USA, France and India from the JV of China & Pakistan to build new fighter jets. India's projects of Rafael with France and F-16 with America have to take off without spending time and money on aimless taxiing on the ground.
Woof (NY)
Econ 101 Q : Where did China get the money for financing the military turn in Pakistan ? A: Primarily the US trade deficit : The US sent $375 billion to China in 2017 - just one year. Western Economist thought that China would invest the dollars earning in US Treasury bills. But China is increasingly using the $s it earns from her lopsided trade with the US to contest the US militarily. From Pakistan to the South China Sea Is that in the US National interest ?
Partha Neogy (California)
In 1600 China commanded 30% of the world economy. Then, inexplicably, China turned inwards declaring "There is nothing that we lack." It took the country 400 years to begin to recover from that mistake. They have learnt well from that lesson of history. Meanwhile, a modern superpower, under misguided leadership, seems headed to repeat that historical mistake.
Vinod Mubayi (New York)
@Partha Neogy very good point Partha. The US under Trump is going backward and China is filling the void created. All empires eventually end of course like the British and French did in the last century and the US empire is also well on its way to oblivion. One hopes that China will learn some useful lessons from the failures of the 19th and 20th century empires before embarking on its own journey.
DC (Ct)
It is not like the US or the European colonial powers never did stuff like this.
Ralph Petrillo (Nyc)
A total amount of aid should be displayed that the US has given Pakistan for the last 25 years. Pakistan must understand that China will clearly lead to an increase in conflict with India. Is this what they want? China needs to understand the response to trade if this occurs. Maybe a 100% tariff is needed.
Perle Besserman (Honolulu)
China's pincer approach to the Muslim world consists of built-in debt and incarceration. How long before the fighter jets are followed by slave labor camps like the ones now holding the Uighurs? Beware of Chinese bearing gifts!
John (Pittsburgh/Cologne)
China is a global adversary of the United States. It's not yet a full enemy, but their actions suggest that this day is coming quickly. Our free trade agreement is giving China the funding to oppose the United States. Would anyone support such an arrangement with Russia? Or the USSR during the Cold War? Raise the tariffs as originally planned and keep them there. U.S. supply chain managers will begin moving most production to other low wage countries that are not adversaries, and maybe a small amount back to the U.S. Is the cost difference between Chinese production and other low wage production a "tax on consumers"? Absolutely. But it's nothing compared with the cost of trying maintain the military balance with China. It's time to stand up to the Profit First Republicans and their Koch Brothers benefactors.
GUANNA (New England)
@John WalMart and Target would not be happy. There is so so much profit is selling cheap Chinese products.
Stokey (Washington)
China is the third largest market afterthe U.S and the E.U, avert supply chain from china means losing Chinese market. corporation managers are not as silly as u.
Faisal (New York, NY)
This is what happens when people that can’t place Pakistan on a map vote for a President that cant place Pakistan on a map.
Templer (Glen Cove, NY)
It is not only this administration, but the last three did not see what was going on.
AKA (Nashville)
Pakistan is the snake that can bite China too; China may be better at playing with snakes than the US! However, Pakistan can bite in Xianxiang, despite indoctrination of millions of ethic Uigurs there. Beidu system may help China monitor Pakistan better.
Someone (Somewhere)
I wonder whether this will result in Lockheed selling F-35s to New Delhi.
Sonny Sandhu (Durham, NC)
@Someone actually they are trying to sell them F-16s, giving India the option to set up factories and assembling them in there!
s.khan (Providence, RI)
Pakistan had been US ally since 1952. It hosted American military base where from famous U2 took off over Russian territory and got shot down. Pakistan also helped significantly in organizing "Jihad" in Afghanistan against the Soviet to ultimately force Soviet withdrawal. USA quickly pulled out, imposed sanctions on Pakistan on its nuclear program. This soured Pakistan on America. They ended up holding the bag with Arab Jihadis, guns all over the country and drugs. The sanctions were lifted when USA needed Pakistan once more after 2001. Pakistan did offer its airbase to lunch attacks, move military equipment and provide intelligence, captured well known jihadis like Khaled Sheikh Mohammad and Abu zubeida just o mention few. USA turned around and got close to India, involved that country in Afghanistan. This rand the alarm bells in Pakistan. Once again they soured on USA and turned to China. Whatever China is doing in Pakistan as reported here, USA is doing the same for India: transfering technology, supplying intelligence and favoring Indian IT workers with H1-B visas and outsourcing back office jobs there. The relationships in south Asia has changed. USA allied with India and Pakistan with China. One day NYT can report on USA's involvement in India-known and secret.
Sonny Sandhu (Durham, NC)
@s.khan couple of corrections Pakistan volunteered to fight behalf of United States against communism, in return for military equipment and Aid. Pakistan was in Afghanistan way before a single American dollar ever flowed through. ISI was recruiting fighters and setting up jihad camps as early as 1972. It was Pakistan’s General Zia Ul haq that actually sold the Afghan Soviet war to the Americans. After the war Pakistan had a choice to get rid of those jihadi camps and fighters but instead they were turned towards Kashmir starting in the late 1980s. And BTW when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed took place, Pakistani intelligency themselves didn’t know who was being targettted they were kept in the dark right until the end by CIA.
s.khan (Providence, RI)
@Sonny Sandhu, Not true . Pakistan was approached by President Carter and offered aid of $400million after Soviet invasion in 1979.Zial ul Haq of Pakistan turned it down as peanuts and offered no support. When president Reagan came to office in January 1980, Zia agreed. ISI and CIA worked together to train Jihadis. Saudis financed and encouraged Arabs to join Jihad. With Saudis money Madarssas were set up in Pakistan which became Jihad factories and assorted clerics started teaching "Wahabi" version of Islam which didn't exist in Pakistan. This is when Pakistan got into trouble that is stil plaguing it. Pakistan and all Jihadis interpreted Soviet withdrawal as the victory for jihad and with a sense of triumphalism. Pakistan turned some of them to Kashmir and Jihadis took their fight to various Arab countries which continues in Syria, Yemen, Libya,etc. Before 1980 there was no jihad. Pakistan had Sufi version of Islam which is inclusive and teaches universal love. The country is dotted with sufi shrines which are now attacked by the jihadis. Soviets destroyed both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@s.khan Pakistan "sufi" and hence "universa love and inclusive " . Tell that to the millions of Sikhs and Hindus , the natives of the land that is currently Pakistan, who where murdered and the survivors kicked across the newly created border. Doesnt sound very "inclusive" or an example of "universal love" to me before "wahabi" islam that you claim didnt exist in Pakistan until very recently.
Deukish (Eastern US)
Unbelievable. Only the US should get to play the arms merchant to the corrupt governments around the globe.
C (Canada)
This is the type of power that nations cannot buy. And the United States let it go for only a few billion a year. That is a mistake you guys are going to regret for generations. Seriously, money is cheap. There are tons of countries who have way deeper pockets than the Americans. To even contemplate starving allies into submission... I'd say you got what you deserve, but you didn't. We're all going to pay for this before the day is done. Thanks a lot, America.
Max Deitenbeck (East Texas)
You mean to tell me that Trump's uninformed, unhinged, thoughtless foreign policy is strengthening our adversaries? I don't believe you.
Randy (New York)
@Max Deitenbeck Just like Trumps 'uninformed, unhinged' thoughtless foreign policy' , that of Obama gave away the entire South China Sea to our adversary. Didn't hear your complaint about that.
Ryan (Fresno)
The article has a misleading section where it implies that GPS, or indeed any satellite based system similar to it, allows the controlling state to keep surveillance on its users. That’s not how GPS works. The satellite networks can’t track devices that use it navigate anymore than a light house network can track boats that use them to navigate. All GPS satellites do is broadcast their position in space with a time stamp. Navigation devices receive those signals and then use them to calculate their own position. They receive only. They don’t transmit. Even if they did, the satellites are incapable of receiving all the data from every single GPS enabled device. The US made GPS for military applications but allows anyone to use it for free with no strings attached because of the huge commercial benefit, not because it allows the government to track everyone with a GPS device.
St. Laurence (Pensacola, FL)
@Ryan As can any other computer, access to the spectrum of a satellite's capabilities can be regulated by codes, access-routines, and specialized hardware.
Blackmamba (Il)
China is a lot closer to Pakistan and it's nuclear weapons and missiles than America. China did not object when American arms and troops flowed into Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of 9/11/01. China has it's own domestic ethnic sectarian extremist terrorist threat aka Muslim Uighurs. America cooperates with Pakistani military and intelligence operations and operative leaders. After Indonesia, Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim country in the world. Pakistan has been a military dictatorship for many years. Pakistan's primary regional ethnic sectarian strategic foe is Hindu majority India with the 3rd largest Muslim population armed with nuclear weapons and missiles.
Mehul Shah (New Jersey)
In the next 10 years with a recession upon us, which Pakistan will not be able to weather, count on Pakistan's defense and currency being run by China. The Mullahs can control blasphemy laws for all China cares. Yesterday there was a sympathetic story about Kashmiri teens. Frankly with this geographical reality, there's simply no letting up that India can afford to do vis-a-vis Kashmir.
ed (NJ)
In related news, the BBC is running a front page article about how China is planning to use its debt diplomacy in Greenland. That's awfully close to home.
Joe Ryan (Bloomington, Indiana)
"China has lent more and more money to Pakistan at a time of economic desperation there." Let's see -- that would be from 1947 to 2018, right?
Michael (Austin)
US: 1. runs up a deficit to give tax breaks to the 0.1% so they can buy more mansions and yachts, 2. puts health care out of reach of many of its citizens, 3. makes education unaffordable, 4. withdraws from the world, while China and Russia extend their influence, 5. abdicates it morale authority by the President acting like a 3rd world dictator. Putin sure got his money's worth in making Trump president.
NYer (NYC)
Once again, Trump's erratic conduct and utter incompetence in international affairs plays right into the hands of China, whose influence and power is expanding in direct proportion to the shrinking of both by the US. Trump is erratic, belligerent, and utterly ignorant of foreign affairs; Xi Jinping is just the opposite. The Chinese have a plan; Trump and his gang don't even know what a plan is -- apart from a scheme to enrich themselves. As various nations turn to China and Russia for trade, support, or even arms purchases (Trump's alleged favorite!), the USA will be increasingly isolated and irrelevant. Even our former allies realize are turning elsewhere or just deciding that the USA is no longer a reliable partner, in terms of diplomacy, trade, or any sense of reliability. Even if/when Trump is out, it will be hard, if not impossible, to reverse all the damage done and convince other nations the USA is a reliable ally or trade partner over the long term. And maybe many will decide that they've managed to do well enough without the USA, so why reverse course on the hopes that the USA can somehow permanently stabilize itself?
Dr. MB (Alexandria, VA)
@NYer Not true if you actually examine US-China relationships dating back to Nixon-Kissinger China visit and the after. In fact, Clinton talked openly about a China-US condominium over the entire Pacific and Indian Ocean, I remember distinctly. Kissinger has been a friend of China ever since, every US businessman --irrespective of political leanings has gone to Peking and extolled the Chinese efficiency and acumen --at the least business wise! In short, what has happened with US "friendship" with China at the cost of US labor and domestic strength and growth has been an across-the party -line US enterprise of the so-called suave and the best and the brightest of this Nation. I would say that Trump is now villified also because he has thrown in a wrench into this process "unnecessarily" irritating the "interested/vested" quarters in the USA itself!
SR (Boston)
@NYer Trump arrived on the scene 2 years ago - if you read your history, the US has been at it since 1947 with Pakistan. The US thinks that it alone should sell weapons to thugs and rogue states. It cannot let others into eating a piece of the pie no?
Still Waiting for a NBA Title (SL, UT)
This is all well and good until the Pakistani religious zealots get fed up with what is happening to Muslims in Northwestern China, start attacking the Chinese and Chinese financed/built infrastructure in Pakistan, and then the Chinese retaliate.
mike L (dalhousie, n.b.)
@Still Waiting for a NBA Title Yes, these two deserve each other.
[email protected] (Joshua Tree)
like thd USA, China may find Pakistan to be a fickle ally.
Max Deitenbeck (East Texas)
@[email protected] This isn't a teenage romance. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a bad relationship with India. Losing influence with Pakistan could have dire consequences. But Trump and his base think that quiting the game and taking their ball with them in a fit not fit even for toddler is how international diplomacy works. No matter how often the world shows him how stupid he is Trump just doubles down.
Luke Coleman (Ann Arbor MI)
The Chinese Administration can be evil, but they are not stupid at all. Actually the oligarchs are more than competent. Now let’s look at Don.....
Zen Dad (Los Angeles, California)
Xi Jinping is intent on destroying the United States while we sit on our collective hands. When will the U.S. government acknowledge that we are in a Cold War that is getting hotter every day? China is the most significant threat to American freedom, and if we do not confront them now in a meaningful way, we will be joining the one million Uighers in concentration camps in Xinjiang.
Pete Rogan (Royal Oak, Michigan)
We're going to pay for allowing this expansion of Chinese commercial and naval power. In dollars, influence, or blood, we shall certainly pay.
VS (Boise)
Feels like we are on the cusp of the next cold war, except that this will be based on trade. And the rival will be China instead of USSR. We need the leadership on par with JFK and Reagan (yes, my liberal friends don’t cringe at his name), and many many levels higher than what we have in the current White House.
David (Boston)
Does it not seem curious that Pakistan, a muslim nation, turns a blind eye toward China's cruel treatment of its own muslims in Xinjiang, most of whom are subjected to family separation, forced labor and oppressive "re-education camps"? It seems very improbable that Beijing's actions in and with Pakistan have any basis or interest in peace, harmony or development in Pakistan.
laurel mancini (virginia)
which is why one should keep senior advisers in departments such as defense or just any and all advisers. no one person can possibly know all the minutiae of the workings of other countries. no one.
Nev Gill (Dayton OH)
70+ years on from Independence the "Land of the Pure" is still reluctant to give up it's begging bowl. The Mullahs may proudly proclaim their faith but they are locked in an embrace with the faithless Chinese Communist Party. Nothing is free, the drunken spending spree will have to end at some time. The General's picture with the Chinese Representative and Nawaz Sharif says it all. Sharif is in traditional prayer stance before the Mullah, the Chinese Representative looks disinterested and the General would prefer to be having a cold beer in a shady spot.
IdoltrousInfidel (Texas)
Chinese are clever. They needed a road link to Arabian sea, instead of ships going around India. So they had Pakistan borrow the money from China, hire Chinese contractors to build the road for China in Pakistan. So Pakistan pays for the road built for China using Chinese contractors. Beautiful arrangement for China.
VeeJay (Bangalore)
@IdoltrousInfidel Trouble is , it wont work. The road over the tallest mountains in the world and harshest climate and unstable terrain (not to mention territory India considers it' own, but in adverse posession of Pakistan) is simply not suitable to move the quantities of goods that can be moved by sea. Not to mention that shipping is by FAR (orders of magnitude) the cheapest form of transport.
Kevin Apte (Republic of South Beach)
@IdoltrousInfidel It is unecomonical to send containers from Shanghai to Karachi via road. Sea freight is 20X cheaper than moving the same container by road, 10X cheaper than by rail. Karakoram highway in Kashmir region passes through difficult mountain terrain with dozens of bridges, tunnels and mountain passes. It is an easy target for a missile attack by India's hypersonic cruise missile.
Pen vs. Sword (Los Angeles)
If China is saying one thing, it is a safe bet they will do the opposite. Like those man made island in the SCS that were built for peaceful purposes. Yet another benefit that comes whenever you purchase a product with the Made in China label affixed to it.
Shearson (Cazadero Ca)
With no true way to see into the future, the past is our only reference. Invading powers in and around the Himalayas do not have a good track record; many dreams of empire buried in the sand in central Asia. Let China try to bring order in this region, like USSR did in Africa or Eastern Europe in the 70's or the US in Central America in the 50's. I suspect more ruins scattered about in Pakistan once the Chinese leave.
Mehul Shah (New Jersey)
Remember, Pakistan is no longer a sovereign nation. Goes begging from Saudi Arabia to and now China as well. Both lethal options with a lot of collateral damage for rest of the world.
Butch Burton (Atlanta)
While traveling in Nepal on my Everest Trek many years ago, I rented a Chinese bicycle to see the sights around Katmandu. The road north out of the city was wide and very well made. I stopped at a bridge over a small river and when I looked under the bridge - WOW the steel beams were huge, way too big for the typical 40 ton truck in the USA and the trucks in Katmandu were quite small. Then it came to me - the Indians and Chinese were having their regular set to and this to permit the Chinese to rapidly deploy their tanks to India. There is nothing new under the sun.
Michael (Chicago )
With the rise of China and fast-evolving international dynamics, I'm glad our Commander In Chief values the importance of a well thought out diplomatic strategy, a robust diplomatic corps, and the valuable input of career advisors with decades of experience. /sarcasm Nope, President Trump seems content with gutting the State Department and cheerleading on the diplomatic brain drain while making 140-letter policy decisions at 3am.
Patriot (NJ)
This news should be a reminder that the Trump Administration is more than an amusing footnote in the history of the United States. Donald Trump is blissfully unaware of the complex relationships between the United States and the rest of the world. he is tearing up agreements, alienating allies, and creating an international vacuum that allows China and Russia to expand at our expense. The Trump base consider themselves patriots, but they do not seem to comprehend the lasting damage that this man has caused the United States, and they do not understand how he has destroyed our standing as leader of the Free World.
David (Flyover country)
Maybe it's just me, but I don't really care. We've been dumping our money all over the world with nothing to really show for it. Some one else's turn. This frees us up to spend our tax dollars on Americans.
Max Deitenbeck (East Texas)
@David That money you say we dump all over the world is part of what secured stability and peace, and with that stability markets to which we sell things. Trade deficits and international aid are good things. You know what isn't? War and no one with whom to trade.
Steve (Australia)
The U.S. should be saying "good riddance" to Pakistan. It should be obvious by now that giving arms and money to the Pakistani military (a long time U.S. tactic) will not buy either loyalty or any form of protection from radical Islam. But it will be fun to watch the Chinese try, especially as they become increasingly blatant with their persecution of any form of Islam, not just radicalism, in East Turkestan. But the best result of all, for democracies, will be putting an end to Indian fence-sitting in the U.S.-China rivalry. Deng is still celebrated after 40 years; Xi will be remembered for being consumed by hubris.
Majortrout (Montreal)
What's happened to America in terms of world influence, stature, and aid around the world. China seems to be getting all the column space in newspapers regarding their "helping" countries around the world! America doesn't even want to help Puerto Rico anymore or if trump ever really wanted to help them out after the disastrous storm!* *https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/12/politics/trump-puerto-rico/index.html
Padman (Boston)
Let us not forget that Pakistan has a close military alliance with Russia too. Pakistan is buying Russian made Mi-35M attack jets, the purchase of new attack helicopters which cost Islamabad $153 billion will replace Pakistan's fleet of obsolete US made AH-1 Cobra attack jets. Purchasing Russia’s advanced attack jets is another indication that Pakistan is abandoning its military ties with the U.S. and making a shift toward Russia. Pakistan is stepping up its game with Russia and China making the China-Russia-Pakistan superpower triangle a reality. Pakistan claims that it is enhancing its military capability to combat terrorism. Terrorism from where? India? Pakistan has been the sanctuary for all terrorists. Let Pakistan get rid of all terrorists, the world will be a better place.
Surprised (New York, NY)
@Padman $150 billion on defense would be a eye-opening figure for a rich country like Saudi Arabia, let alone a cash-strapped nation like Pakistan. And you say this is just purchases from Russia. Could you provide some source for this information?
woofer (Seattle)
"Then, Sri Lanka, unable to repay its ballooning debt with China, handed over the Chinese-built port at Hambantota in a 99-year lease agreement last year. Indian and American officials expressed a growing conviction that taking control of the port had been China’s intent all along." Today's headlines feature formal US withdrawal from Syria but Belt and Road is the real story. Departing Syria merely symbolizes a short history of policy fecklessness. Belt and Road is a Trojan horse of almost incalculable consequence. Opportunistic third world politicians, desperate for showy capital investment, gladly sell their countries into permanent economic servitude. They will be long gone when the bill comes due. The price of averting debt default will merely be forfeiture of national sovereignty. CPEC's full range of impacts is probably unknowable. Besides those listed in the article, new haul roads into northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan will further destabilize traditional rural cultures in already fractious areas. For the Chinese, an unexpected result may be a new troublesome linkage between disgruntled Uighurs and potential Muslim allies in Pakistan. A new independent source of foreign cash will make the rogue Pakistani military even less accountable to civilian control. Looming above all is the long conflict between India and Pakistan, two nuclear states. The Chinese presence can only make Pakistan militarily more aggressive and inflame Hindu nationalists in India.
sbandy11 (Virginia)
@woofer The antidote for the Belt and Road hegemony is an alliance between Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Call it IOTA - Indian Ocean Treaty Association. This could easily wean Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa from the Middle Kingdom.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
If you want a real cauld grue, check out China's flirtation with Greenland! "How Greenland could become China's Arctic base" https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867 "China is flexing its muscles. As the second richest economy in the world, its businessmen and politicians are involved just about everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America. "Now, though, China is taking a big interest in a very different part of the world: the Arctic. "It has started calling itself a "near-Arctic" power, even though Beijing is almost 3,000km (1,800 miles) from the Arctic Circle. It has bought or commissioned several ice-breakers - including nuclear-powered ones - to carve out new routes for its goods through the Arctic ice. "And it is eyeing Greenland as a particularly useful way-station on its polar silk road."
Majortrout (Montreal)
@Susan Anderson Oh don't worry. Canada is up in the Arctic with its' mighty naval force! That'll stop them.
sguknw (Colorado)
@Susan Anderson "cauld grue"- I had to look that one up. "cold shivers". A Chinese investor also bought a huge patch of Iceland when that country was on the ropes as I remember. This article mistakenly states that the Chinese are funding these projects. They are not. They are lending money to poor countries then using the lended money to build mostly useless construction projects, built with Chinese labor only. The Chinese pulled this scam on Kenya. Kenya now owes 25% of its GDP to the Chinese for a railway system. Chinese foreign policy is basically a form of loan sharking.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
@sguknw Yes, that's how they do it. Just look up what happens to their "debtors". I have done so, along with a great deal of other reading about the conditions of these deals, etc., and learned a lot.
Blue Zone (USA)
The United States has to finally understand that China has the capacity to fill any gap left behind. And increasingly more, make their own opportunity. The preachy self-righteous Judeo-Christian alliance has been selling weapons to "good guys" around the world for decades upon decades, shaping much of the conflicts this world has known in modern times. But we pick and choose based on who we like that day, and who serve our interest the best, this week. There is no really Good, but only Interest. The old new reality is that the other guys make war toys just as good as we do. America forces the world to be polarized, so it's not surprising China acts just as we do.
Michael (Austin)
@Blue Zone If you are relying on Trump understanding anything, good luck. The US is going the way of Trump Airlines and Trump Steaks.
Uly (New Jersey)
China invests in 35 ports worldwide including 4 ports in the US. It exports heavily and explains the preceding statement. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which this piece alludes to and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor indicates its focused policy to access the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean without too much US seaport commercial influence. China has built alliances. In contrast, Donald creates enemies, expound nationalist agenda and allegiance to Putin, MSB, and Netanyahu only.
NKTA (Behind the Orange Curtain)
There is no free lunch. Pakistani will soon realize that their sovereignty is greatly eroded and their political and military leaders sold out to the Chinese, personally pocketing billion of dollars in the process. It happens everywhere in Southeast Asia, e.g. Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, etc.. China will dominate this century with its economic might; while western countries and the US grapple with internal strife and nativism.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
@NKTA Pakistan and Afghan experience with Americans has not been very good. For a taste, here's a good read: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/dec/18/torrent-of-ghastly-revelations-what-military-service-taught-me-about-america-us-marine-corps-afghanistan "A torrent of ghastly revelations': what military service taught me about America "Training on a base in California, and later serving in Afghanistan, made me confront the reality of American empire, and the injustice that pervades society at home. "
Zen Dad (Los Angeles, California)
@NKTA You're absolutely correct. Pakistan should ask the Uighers in the Xinjiang labor camps how the Communist Party views Islam.
MA (Vancouver, BC)
And by the time Pakistanis realize it, it will be too late.
David Underwood (Citrus Heights)
China is operating in Africa, building a railroad to Europe, rebuilding railroads in Iran, financing farming in Brazil, bringing in countries we have ignored under their debt, and they do is diplomatically. While Dishonest Donald and his cabal of thieves called the GOP puts us deeper into debt, antagonizes our allies, dismisses our experienced diplomats, and brags about how much good he is doing. The rest of the world is catching up while his actions are creating more dislike for the U.S. What is holding most nations from progressing like the U.S. did in the 1800s is xenophobia, when the allow foreign interests to own and develop industries and economic businesses, they will surpass the U.S. and our citizens will complain about too much foreign influence here, bringing a further retreat from international leadership.
Will Hogan (USA)
While the US gives $1 trillion in tax breaks to its richest individuals (through direct income taxes and through tax breaks to large corporations whose stock is owned by the rich) our rivals in China are using the same $1 trillion to create massive influence among other countries across the globe. The US policy is brought to you by a businessman who inherited about $400 million (in 2018 dollars) from his father and 20 years and 3 bankruptcies later was still worth about $400 million, although he is hiding and exaggerating the true value of his net worth. What if Trump is really not that smart, and what if he cares far more about his kids' inheritance tax rate than about his country....
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@Will Hogan Not "3 bankruptcies later". Try 6 bankruptcies. 4 bankruptcies based on casinos alone. Delusional Donnie can't even make money running a money machine ... er ... casino.
Concernicus (Hopeless, America)
@Will Hogan: I was with you right up until the false comment about Trump's net worth being 400 million. Mere millionaires do not have their own airliner with a monthly fuel bill larger than most peoples net mortgage. Esteemed publications such as Forbes and Bloomberg (and others) have estimated Trump's net worth at around 3.5 billion. Nowhere close to the 10 billion he lies about but still far north of 400 million. About 3 billion further. Of course by the time he is finished looting the US Treasury he may well be worth 10 billion.
bassetwrangler (California)
@Concernicus Trump Force One is a Boeing 757 built in 1991. Since Trump now uses Air Force One paid for by taxpayers and I'm sure his plane sits idle or, when used, has its' operating cost covered by campaign contributions.
qisl (Plano, TX)
And how do the Pakistanis feel about how China is treating its own Muslims in the forced labor camps? (Trump may be denigrating American Muslims and keeping out Muslim immigrants, but at least he hasn't forced them into FEMA's concentration camps ... yet!)
Ak (Bklyn)
@qisl They are stealing resources from other ethnic groups within Pakistan, which will lead to widespread starvation. They don’t care at all.
s.khan (Providence, RI)
@qisl what is Guantanamo?
Hernshaw (USA)
@qisl Have you been living under a rock? Pakistan, funded by the US, also spends billions a year fighting a disastrous so called "war on terror" which persecutes ordinary Muslim people. China is waging its own disastrous "war on terror" in Xinjiang, just as Russia is in Chechnya. The war on terror is the one global priority all these countries can agree on.
Hal (Houston, Texas)
In many areas of Middle East, Northern Africa and Western Asia, USA treats Israel as the most valuable ally and all other countries with skepticism and caution. Most of the countries in those regions, which are primarily Muslim, are in turn becoming skeptical of USA and trying to find alternative alliances. In the long run, we may have only a couple of oil monarchies as our partners.
PK2NYT (Sacramento)
@Hal Even these monarchies are partners only when USA overlooks their human rights violations. Besides, in a few years the value of oil will drop and the value of these partners' oil resources vastly diminished and so would their value to the US.
M.R. Khan (Chicago)
@Hal Exactly right Hal, and when those despotic "royal families" are overthrown and brought to justice the US between Morrocco and Malaysia will only have Israel and the West Bank settlement market.
Brian (Ohio)
I thought Chinese leadership was super competent. Any engagement with that part of the world will be destructive, If we can get them to invade afganistan their hegemony will be over before it really starts.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
@Brian Oh no, it won't be military. They're "helping" them. They won't know they're owned until it is too late. The Chinese know exactly how to do this, as they are currently in Africa and South America.
Hernshaw (USA)
@Brian Seems you don't know your history. America's involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Iran, has failed because for decades it poured billions into the pockets of dictators that wast on US made weapons and staying in power. Civic investment and development projects in these countries have also time and again failed due to incompetence and lack of long term planning on the part of the US government. What would China gain from invading Afghanistan? It's a malicious idea and I don't see your point.
Tamza (California)
@Brian. They will not invade militarily - just economically,
NorthernVirginia (Falls Church, VA)
He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.
Letsbereal (NYC)
@NorthernVirginia 'He' does have a record of lying down with dogs. Whether this one has more or less fleas is anyone's guess.
Sarah Johnson (New York)
@NorthernVirginia China is not really a "dog" by any reasonable measure. At least China so far has not engaged in the blatant political manipulation and control the U.S. is famous for. Exactly how many governments has China overthrown, how many uprisings has it facilitated and financed, how many endless wars has it engaged in, like the U.S. has?
geochandler (Los Alamos NM)
Good move, DonDon. Drove 'em right into the arms of the enemy!
mkm (nyc)
Belt and Road predates Trump. Pakistan and China share a border. Pakistan and China have a decades old trade relationship. This has got nothing to do with Trump.
Rishi (New York)
It is good time Pakistanis start thinking to get closer to their origin India and make a federation with them.Culturally the people there are very close to its norther part of India .Pakistanis do not want to be ruled by Chinese with so much of accumulating debt. India can rescue them on many fronts. They should keep Kashmir etc in back burner and not to make it a confrontational issue as well stop all terrorists to reach the Indian borders. They should demilitarize border with India as India has no intentions to invade them or occupy them like Chinese doing indirectly by mounting unplayable debt.
SR (Indian in US)
@Rishi wishful thinking but it will never happen. Pakistan and China are too close which won't change ever. India has be extra vigilant. If mideast Arab countries start to buy Chinese military hardware it will become a serious problem. Israel should be part of anti-China and Pakistan alliance with India and other strategic partners.
AS (Pakistan)
For prosperity in the region, we must grow and stop thinking in terms of friends and foes. No 'for' or 'against' alliance between neighbours will ever see the region move forward - history teaches us repeated lessons. Very few countries progress over a sustained period in isolation, particularly while their neighbors are burning. We must learn from the example of France and Germany, two foes of the past, whose friendship is now the strength and corner stone of modern day Europe. Hopefully, one day soon, Pakistan and India can be the same but that requires viewing each other as equals and with mutual respect. This will only be possible when it's realized on both sides that this is for the mutual interest of both countries.
Tamza (California)
@Rishi. If india settles it problems with Pakistan - mostly Kashmir - things might move in that direction. But with Modi BJP Hindutva not likely.
Johnny dangerous (mars)
No, worry the Indians will take care of it.
SR (Indian in US)
China is emerging as the third most powerful military power after USA and Russia in the world. China's secret pact with Pakistan for military hardware production under "Belt and Road" plan to be used as a sales pitch to other nations like Saudi Arabia who cannot acquire sophisticated hardware from the US that the Chinese might be willing to sell. This adds additional pressures for India which faces China and Pakistan as enemies. US should be willing to counter China along with India especially if China tries to control the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Australia, Japan and other countries should be part of Indo-US military alliance.
Petersburgh (Pittsburgh)
@SR I completely agree with your recommendation of a strong US-Indian-Japanese alliance. If anything you underestimate the Chinese capacity -- I would say they are stronger militarily than Russia. And in terms of their economies it's not even close -- Russia's GDP is about equal to that of Italy.
Erland Nettum (Oslo, Norway)
@SR China is not emerging as the third most powerful military power, it already IS number two. Just look at the spending, about three times as much as Russia. It has not as high manpower as Russia yet, but especially the navy exceed Russia in quality.
princeflor (NY)
@SR But India is an ancient civilization and has great aspirations that seems to be in conflict with siding with any overt groupings e.g. US-India-Japan-Australia. However, at the same time India does not have the financial muscle power to realize her aspirations on her own any time soon. Given the political scenario in India, most likely, India will never reach a 'China like' status and will remain a relatively 'poor' country for many years to come. Getting part of any military alliance for India will remain very difficult for the foreseeable future.
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