After the 2nd WW, the US’s major adversary was the USSR. Communism and socialism were considered a big threat to the western capitalist system and democracy.
Russia was closely aligned with China till 1959 after which their relationship was strained. It suited the US global interests and in 1972 it forged relations with China which pursued socialism and opted for free market trade with the world.
Once the US drew China towards its side, it tasked the CIA to induce the East European States and the CARS in order to break up the USSR, an amalgam of 15 states.
Jihad in Afghanistan enabled the US to fragment the Soviet Union in 1991
The dwarfed Russian Federation lost all its Republics but retained its military power, nuclear and missile assets and all its natural resources.
After the fall of the Soviet Empire and the demise of communism, the USA declared Islam as the biggest threat to the capitalist system and took steps to keep the stronger Muslim states in the Middle East within control with the help of Israel. India was made a strategic partner in order to keep nuclear Pakistan in check. Iran was harassed through harsh sanctions.
The US also marked China as a possible future threat for which it pursued the policy of containment.
In the new millennium, the US security concerns were the Islamic threat posed by militarily strong or radical Muslim states, and China and Russia’s closeness.
The US dealt with the Islamic threat through the war on terror, the Russian threat through a policy of expansionism in Eastern Europe by NATO, and China through aggressive containment and trade/tariff war.
While Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear plant in 1981, the US forced Libya to abandon its nuclear program in 2004 and forced Syria, Sudan and Lebanon to scrap their chemical plants.
The US succeeded in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program in 2015 in return for lifting sanctions. Pakistan’s nuclear program was to be destroyed through covert operations under the garb of countering terrorism. Efforts to that end are still continuing.
Although Pakistan continues to be an ally of the US, the two never built relations based on trust. The main reason is that the US used it as a rentier state and used it for accomplishing its objectives and then discarded it.
Major irritations of the US against Pakistan are its weaponized nuclear program, its strategic relations with China and the CPEC. Concerted efforts were made to spoil China-Pakistan and to make CPEC controversial but failed.
Today China and Pakistan are strategic partners and iron brothers and both need each other. India is a common foe between China and Pakistan. Kashmir is now a matter of concern for China as well. China has greatly helped Pakistan in strengthening its defense capabilities and its gift of CPEC will help Pakistan in becoming economically self-reliant.
China and Russia are also strategic partners and both are keen to end the monopoly of the sole superpower and to change the unjust world order.
Beijing’s “revisionist ambition” for the new international order derives from the objectives of its national strategy and the Communist Party’s political and governing systems.
Ukraine is turning into a graveyard for the USA, Europe and Russia
The nine-month war has hugely impacted the global economy and might lead to a global food crisis.
The old strains of enmity between Russia and Pakistan have subsided and the two countries are coming closer to each other.
Pentagon identifies China as the “most consequential and systemic challenge” to US national security.
The US Department of Defence reported that China relies on Pakistan for projecting its military and economic might, as Islamabad remains a key Beijing ally.
This assumption was made after the release of the China Military Power 2022 report — released on 06 Dec 2022 — in which it was examined how China sought to achieve its “national rejuvenation” objective by 2049 with the help of international partners, such as Pakistan.
According to the report, China ranks Pakistan as its only “all-weather strategic partner”, while Russia as its only “comprehensive strategic partnership with coordination relations”.
The Pentagon surveys PLA’s current activities and capabilities and assesses its future military modernization goals.
During the last five years, China has expanded ties with both of its historical partners, Pakistan and Russia. Pakistan is also considered by China as a suitable place for its military logistics bases. Gwadar can be converted into a naval base for China to checkmate the Indo-US monopoly over the Indian Ocean.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is associated with pipelines and port construction projects in Pakistan. But with the help of those projects, China “seeks to become less reliant on transporting energy resources through strategic choke points, such as the Strait of Malacca”.
Beijing also attempts to exploit the relationships it builds through BRI to pursue additional economic cooperation with participating countries.
In 2021, ten Chinese nationals were killed, and 26 others injured when a suicide bomber targeted a workers’ bus on its way to a BRI infrastructure development project at Dasu in Pakistan.
RAW-supported TTP owned the responsibility
Although the incident miffed China, however, it used this incident to “extend its ability to project military power to safeguard its overseas interests, including BRI, by developing closer regional and bilateral cooperation in counterterrorism” with Pakistan.
Beijing helped Islamabad complete the in-orbit delivery of the Pakistan Remote-Sensing Satellite.
China also vigorously pursues its policy of supporting a BRI host nation’s security forces through military aid, including military equipment donations.
China and Pakistan have been carrying out joint military operations. In 2020-21, China participated in a joint naval exercise with Pakistan and also supplied strike-capable Caihong and Wing Loong Unmanned Aircraft Systems to Pakistan.
China supplied eight Yuan class submarines to Pak Navy for more than $3 billion in 2015. In 2017 and 2018, China sold four naval frigates to Pakistan.
Under the PLANMC, which supports China’s military diplomacy, Chinese forces have trained with Pakistani, Thai, Saudi Arabia, South African, and Djiboutian forces.
Pakistan is also a member of the China-led Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation.
Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman of the Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank, Pakistan ex Servicemen Society, and member Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.