[War Mongers] New War Ahead: China-Pakistan vs. U.S.A.

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci
March 2, 2011 at 5:00 am

China has been deploying thousands of soldiers in the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan, a mountainous area in northern Pakistan, and a region historically contested by Pakista]n, India and its inhabitants.

Although cooperation between Pakistan and China is not new — it was China in the 1970s that supported Pakistan’s attempts to acquire its nuclear capability — the deployment of Chinese troops in Pakistan, however, indicates a worrying alliance for the US. The US would do well to monitor these developments before a catastrophic scenario, especially for its troops, takes place.

The presence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army [PLA] in the contested Gilgit-Baltistan region, where a nascent revolt against the Pakistani rule is taking place, constitutes the direct involvement of Beijing in the dispute over Kashmir, making any future understanding between Pakistan and India more difficult, and can only arouse a new and serious rift between New Delhi and Beijing.

According to Mumtaz Khan, director for the International Centre of Peace and Democracy in Toronto, many Western analysts who view China’s stance merely as a bargaining chip against India will unfortunately soon realize that China is redefining its priorities and interests in South Asia and beyond. “The current involvement of China in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir consists of more than just providing military and diplomatic support to Pakistan. Soon, Pakistan will swap its role to take the backseat as China exerts itself as a major player in the Kashmir issue” and maybe also in Afghani one.

The Gilgit-Baltistan region borders Afghanistan to the north; China to the northeast; the Pakistani administrated state of Azad, Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to the south, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. Recently, the New York Times reported that two major developments are taking place there: a rebellion against the Pakistani rule, and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the PLA.

China’s Grip on Pakistani Strategic Area

“China wants a grip on the strategic area to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan,”stated the NYT. Beijing intends to create a corridor from the Indian Ocean up to the Chinese province of Xinjiang. The first cornerstone of this grandiose project has been the construction of the Gwadar Port, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and outside the Strait of Hormuz. It is near the key shipping routes used by the mainline vessels that have connections to Africa, Asia and Europe, and it enjoys a high commercial and strategic significance.

The port was financed and built by China and inaugurated in 2007 by the former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. At present, it takes a Chinese tanker about 16 to 25 days to reach the Gulf. Once high-speed rail and road links through Gilgit-Baltistan are completed, however, China will be able to transport cargo to and from Xinjiang to Gwadar and to other Pakistani port facilities, within 48 hours.

PLA’s soldiers in Gilgit-Baltistan are also expected to work on the infrastructure in the region. According to reports, China is planning the construction of roads and bridges; a high-speed rail system, and nearly two-dozen tunnels. As the whole area is closed to foreign observers, news can only be obtained through intelligence information, as well as satellite imagery that shows construction activities are underway throughout the region.

Many of the PLA soldiers are supposedly currently building the railroad. Others are extending the Karakoram Highway, which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, and engaged in activities for constructing dams, expressways and other projects.

Their presence is also apparently meant to deter any possible disturbances from the local population, within which are simmering rebellious sentiments against the Pakistani rule.

China and Pakistan’s Common Interest is India

The presence of Chinese soldiers on Pakistani soil is not an ordinary matter. If all Pakistani governments have always objected to the deployment of U.S. troops in the country, why is there such openness towards the Chinese army?

The alliance between the U.S. and Pakistan appears to be becoming less and less sound. The U.S.-led war against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan is quickly deteriorating into a growing open conflict with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)., which represents the core of Pakistani military power and can also act independently from Pakistan’s government. The agency is responsible for the creation of the mujahiddin movement in Afghanistan during the war against the USSR; and later, for the movements for the “liberation” of Kashmir, as well as the first attack on World Trade Center, and the attacks on hotels and a Jewish Habad Cenmter in Mumbai. . The main ISI’s concern, however, is India’s rule in Kashmir. This is why the ISI, in order to confront New Delhi, is providing help and shelter to Islamist groups ready to fight for the “Muslim” Kashmir.

China and Pakistan share many common interests: both have territorial disputes with India. China and India, whose populations, combined, make up slightly less than 40% of the world population. They are also both striving for strategic regional supremacy. By linking its western province to the Indian Ocean, China will not gain just a strategic stronghold and access to the Persian Gulf, but also could significantly influence the geopolitics and trade in the Indian Ocean Region, as well as in Central Asia.

A Possible War Between Pakistan/China and the US

The possible scenarios coming out of the present situation are also dangerous. A deterioration of the relations between the U.S. and Pakistan over the war in Afghanistan could lead to a direct confrontation — in which event, the involvement of the giant China, as Pakistan’s ally, might be inevitable. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that already a delegation of the Chinese Army visited the Pakistan-Afghan Border last October[5].

The same MEMRI’s analysis also predicts that in a possible war between Pakistan/China on the one hand and the US on the other, Russia would be on the side of the West. Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Ivanov, has said that Russia does not want the international troops to leave Afghanistan. Moscow, concerned about development in this region, has begun strengthening the Afghan police forces by supplying weapons and ammunition.

In the meantime, the relationship between Pakistan and Russia are marred by the Cold War legacy, and will take a long time to get normalizedMEMRI reports that the Urdu-language Pakistani daily Roznama Nawa-i-Waqt has warned that “another enemy of Pakistan” –. Russia – has been added to the list of the countries influencing Afghanistan; and that the presence of Russian troops in Afghan will reinforce anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan.


Before apocalyptic scenarios become a reality, it would help if Washington exerted exert maximum efforts — and firmness — to convince Pakistan not to continue on such a dangerous path. Two new war fronts seem rapidly to be opening: Afghanistan on one side, and Kashmir on the other.. The explosion of a possible war could involve both fronts, the Afghani and the Kashmiri, where the US ally, India, might pay a heavy price, finding itself between two enemies: Pakistan and China.

The US will admittedly have a hard role, given the fact that relations between the Washington and China are already fragile, especially since the “Star Wars arms race” launched by China in 2007, but it is urgent that serious efforts be made.


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  1. the report is 100% baseless . Only about 500 Chinese engineers of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) are working under the command of National Highway Authority Pakistan on the rehabilitation project of the Kakurum Highway (KKH). The report/article is ridiculas and nonsenical.

  2. Agree with Muqeet. there is no reason and such kind of confrontation or war. but on policy level in south asia there could be some disagreements between the parties. it will more depend on India’s entry into UN permanent security council.
    the report seems lack on ground information.
    lets hope for peace in the region,

  3. All of these people (who ever is Against the develepment and progress of Gilgit,Baltistan) Are finding ways to block the Development in the regions i Must say its JEALOUSY. Nothing more… i have commented in the previous Topics on same Pakistan-china friendship. People dont like to see the people of this far flung areas of Gilgit, Baltistan just becouse we are loyal and hardworking ctizens of PAKISTAN. Long live Pak china friendship. Long live Pakistan, Long live Gilgit, Baltistan, Love and PEACE to the planet and to all of Pakistan. May God keep us out of Troubles and from Evils Eyes.

  4. These are all allegations and false ,basless statements.Our enimies are against the progress and Develeopments of Gilgit, Baltistan, Long live Gilgit,Baltistan

  5. My question is if I write some thing which is “pure trash ” put it on-line then PT editors will not only copy it but promote it?

    In this on-line media age there is NO EXCUSE to reproduce some thing just for ” know thy enemy “. If that needs to be done then do it on some private ” no caching ” area so that falsehood does not get escalated.

    My objection is based upon my impression that PT name carries more weight then any other online publication. By publishing such trash [ recently there has been lot may be some change in editorial policy ? ] such falsehood gets some credibility where none existed before.

    I hope editor’s will use more restraint in selection of material in future and err on side of caution. After all we do survive with out some new posts and could have done with out this also.

    If you are short of content then why not go for follow-up stories about the real issues / problems of GB. I am not asking for new one but to follow up on old issues till that gets resolved.

    If PT can evolve a reputation of problems getting solved once it takes up the issues, this in my humble opinion will not only benefit GB population but enhance PT image also.

    Please think about it, have a nice day!

  6. Such a propagandistic comment passed on the pak-cino friendship is a genuine symbol of the person sitting behind the stage of the realm and firmly endeavoring to create flaws in the relationship of both these strategic partners, he is not only trying to make obstacles in the progress of Gilgit-Baltistan, he is psychologically creating hatred for the Chinese in the area who have lived tranquil through out their works and other purposes in the region. locals cannot tolerate these hurdles creating by the backbenchers who are the real players of the game, we will always respect our friends who are giving us the same reward from the couple of decades back.

  7. this is all exageration and ridiculous. all is shit and i urge Pamir Times to be responsible and don’t bring or publisize such baseless stuff!11

  8. As usual these kinds of things get blown out of proportion.

    I don’t believe China is making a move against India simply because a war at this point would be disasterous to China’s, Pakistan’s and India’s economies. It sounds like China is trying to secure a land route from China to Iran. As you may know Iran is China’s largest oil and petroleum product supplier and therefore China wants to protect this route. Nothing will come of this I can assure you.

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