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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Pakistan’s remarkable role in transforming geopolitics

Despite being a comparatively small country, Pakistan has played a remarkable role in the international arena. In this regard, Prof. Zamir Ahmed Awan, a Non-Resident Fellow of CCG, highlights how Pakistan not only bridged the gap between China and the US but also assisted them on various fronts. However, he further states that the US pressurizing Pakistan for its close ties with China is rather unfair.

Geopolitics is visibly moving toward pro-China and anti-China. The US is leading an anti-China move and approaching its allies to gang up against China. The US administration is over-engaged in an anti-China drive and availing all platforms and opportunities to build an anti-China bloc. Either it was the G-7 summit, Climate Conference, or any other occasion, the US kept on lobbying and promoting anti-China sentiments.

The unholy western media is also an important tool to distort the Chinese image and promote hate against China. Media is being used as a tool to promote the anti-China narrative. Misinformation and fake news are their tools to malign China. Media has an impact and particularly social media has the capacity to change public opinion. West is not sparing any chance to make negative propaganda against China.

But all these things are not new, it is just repletion of past acts. Since 1949, when the Communist Party of China (CPC) defeated Guo-Ming-Dang (Nationalist Party) and liberated China, it established the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The US was among the first few countries opposing it and did not recognize PRC. The US was siding with Guo-Ming Dang and recognized Taiwan as the Republic of China as the legitimate Government of China till 1971.

Read more: The Communist Party of China: A look into its successful 100 years

The US launched a drive against Communism (Russia plus China). It posed Russia and China as a Communism threat and ganged up with allies and did everything bad to damage China and Russia. Media war, economic sanctions, Korean War, etc. all were aimed to damage China and Russia.

However, after two decades of the intense campaign against Communism, the US could not achieve any tangible outcome. Internally, the US reached a conclusion that they cannot win against China in this drive. They have accepted their defeat actually.

A path-breaking journey made possible by Pakistan

Pakistan played an instrumental role in transforming geopolitics entirely. Pakistan’s visionary leadership and competent diplomats played the role of bridge between China and Pakistan in establishing formal diplomatic relations in 1971. It was hard work by Pakistani diplomacy and the whole scenario of geopolitics was changed completely.

Pakistan brokered the negotiation between China and the US. Pakistan was a close and trustworthy friend of China as well as the US, and it was acceptable by both the US and China as a facilitator. After several rounds of talks through Pakistan, finally, Dr. Henry Kissinger visited China secretly.

Read more: The man behind 70 years of Pak-China friendship

He was on an official visit to Pakistan and secretly traveled to China by Pakistan International Flight (PIA) to Beijing, held fruitful talks with the Chinese leadership, and announced the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the US and the People’s Republic of China.

Former US secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger recognized Pakistan’s key role in arranging his secret visit from Islamabad to Beijing in 1971 for making a breakthrough in China-US relations. Pakistan’s pivotal role was acknowledged during a high-level webinar event organized by China’s State Council in Beijing.

The event marked ‘50 Years of China-US Relations’ with keynote speeches from former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger and Senator Mushahid Hussain on Pakistan’s pivotal role in arranging Dr. Kissinger’s secret journey to China.

Read more: Kissinger appreciates Pakistan’s key-role in establishing China-US ties

In a statement issued, the China Development Forum said that China marked the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Kissinger’s secret visit to Beijing from Islamabad in which Senator Mushahid Hussain said that it was an honor for Pakistan to play a pivotal role in the China-US opening.

Dr. Henry Kissinger praised Pakistan for its role during that period and how President Yahya Khan acted as a go-between China and the US, communicating secretly with Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and President Richard Nixon, which led to Dr. Kissinger’s path-breaking journey in a PIA plane from Islamabad to Beijing on July 9, 1971.

Dr. Kissinger recounted how the first message from China was in the form of a handwritten note, which was personally dictated to him in the White House by the then Pakistan Ambassador in Washington, Agha Hilaly.

Read more: Why you must read Henry Kissinger’s “World Order”?

How the relations between the US and China changed

The difference between the US and China is that China is grateful to Pakistan for its friendship and America has not only forgotten our friendship but imposed sanctions, and pressurized us to leave China and to abandon CPEC. Pressurizing Pakistan, coercing Pakistan will not be fruitful.

After establishing formal diplomatic relations, both countries were beneficiaries of each other. The US was availing enormous Chinese raw material at a very reasonable price and was a beneficiary of the competitive Chinese workforce. American penetration into the Chinese market was a big boost for the American economy and a huge opening.

China availing this opportunity, sent millions of youth to America for studying modern technologies and attracted American investors. The American investors not only brought capital but advanced technologies as well as modern management and marketing skills. China was good at learning in the initial few years and picked up their own industry and manufacturing simultaneously.

Read more: Conciliatory gestures raise hope for a US China trade deal

The US keeps its eyes on the huge Chinese market and actually has benefited from it in the beginning, but after a couple of decades, America became the market for China, and almost 70% of the consumer products in the American markets were made in China. China enjoys a trade surplus with America and lends money to it. The situation changed entirely and the US was worried.

Chinese economy surpassed the German Economy in 2005 and surpassed the Japanese economy in 2010. This alarmed America and it has been predicted that China will surpass the American economy by 2025. The US started to think of China as competition and started to contain China, counter China, and resist the Chinese rise.



Anti-China drive by the US

The establishment of the “Quad” is an anti-China alliance of the US, India, Japan, and Australia, to counter China, contain China and resist China’s rise. The US has launched an anti-China drive and trying to engage China in Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.

The US is convincing its traditional allies in Europe and other parts of the world for an anti-China stance. It is also imposing trying to isolate China by imposing sanctions.

One of the ugliest things the US is doing is pressurizing nations friendly with China to leave China. Pakistan is a victim of the US’ anti-China drive. Referring to the recent interviews of Prime Minister Imran Khan with Western Journalist Swan and Chinese Journalist Liu Xin, it is obvious that how much pressure Pakistan is facing. Unfair!

Read more: China stands with Pakistan amid rising pressure from the US

Historically, Pakistan was a close ally with the US, either the cold war or former USSR occupation of Afghanistan, 9/11 or war on terror, Pakistan was with the US and was known as a front line state and non-NATO close ally. Pakistan was a signatory of several defense pacts with the US like the Manila pact, Baghdad Pact, SEATO, CENTO, RCD, etc.

For almost seven decades, Pakistan was looking after the American interests and protected them very well. Pakistan ensured that the US achieved all its strategic goals in this region. Pakistan’s performance was over-its-weight.

Even to date, Pakistan is helping America. Pakistan was asked to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, and Pakistan did this task perfectly. Pakistan was approached to facilitate American troops’ withdrawal, and once again Pakistan facilitated the safe withdrawal perfectly.

Afghanistan is a land-locked country and all neighbors of Afghanistan are anti-America, it is only Pakistan, who has provided its land and air routes to access Afghanistan. All food supplies, medicines, necessities, and troops withdrawal depends on Pakistan’s land routes or air routes. Pakistan is assisting America beyond its capacity.

Read more: Pakistan’s role is crucial to Afghan peace process: US, Russia, China

A need to explore avenues of cooperation 

Maybe Pakistan is a small country, but it is located strategically and possessing a professional army, along with a resilient and hardworking nation. Pakistan’s potential is recognized by many US statements and political leadership. Even, the military leadership in Washington understands the real potential of Pakistan.

The recent threats to Pakistan from FATF, IMF, Child Protection Bill, and much more, etc. are part of America’s anti-China campaign and the reaction of Pakistan’s friendship with China. Although historically, Pakistan always kept good relations with China, despite Pakistan staying in the American block.

In the early, 1950s, Pakistan was very close with America but was looking after Chinese interests simultaneously. When China was not recognized in the Western world and did not establish diplomatic relations with many European countries, Pakistan Embassies were representing China and looking after their interests.

When the US imposed an economic blockade on China, Pakistan was helping China. The relations between China and Pakistan were very close and will remain even closer in the future.

Read more: Pak-China friendship: Could it get any better?

Just like many other counties in the world, Pakistan wants to have good relations with the US as well as with China. Pakistan is a friendly nation genetically and wants to maintain friendly relations with all nations, countries, and individuals.

The US should not pressurize Pakistan or any other country for keeping distance from China or any other country. China-Pakistan has emerged as a nation with shared destiny and cannot be apart.

Instead, the US must explore the avenues of cooperation and reconciliation. Pakistan played a pivotal role in transforming geopolitics in 1971 and possesses all potential to repeat the same.

It is strongly appealed to scholars, intellectuals, politicians, think tanks, and visionary individuals in the USA to explore opportunities of transforming geopolitics to make this world a better place for our next generations to live a comfortable life. Pakistan is ready to play its due role once again.

Read more: Why Pakistan needs both US & China to secure its interests

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.