IS CHINA TRUE FRIEND OF PAKISTAN PART -II
13 Dec 2017: In the First Essay on the topic titled “Is China True Friend of Pakistan?” was published on 22 Nov 2017. We have already established the hidden Chinese goal in the earlier article. We have already proved that China is not a True friend of Pakistan but it happened to be there when it was needed. Here we are reiterating the same once again using global economic scenario.
China Vs South Asia
China’s relationship with Asian neighbors, especially in South Asia, is the weakest. With Sino-Japanese tensions increasing over south-china sea encroachments of China all the neighbors have become more suspicious of Chinese true intentions. Thus these relations with smallest of the countries have come to prominence in 2017. South Asia has gained focus on China’s regional strategy, as can be seen with President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the region. Within the region, China has an all-weather friend in Pakistan. However, in international politics past and present do not guarantee the future. Pakistan has been having testing times with common neighbor India which is one of the major trading partners of China. To see if Pakistan is of any importance to China in future we have to answer only one question which one is more important for China. This will also dictate the reverberating question across the corridors in Islamabad, “Is China True Friend of Pakistan?“.
The Chinese government recently has shown maturity and showed international audience in “Doklam Crisis” that it favors economy over the military machine. The crisis was a misunderstanding between both the countries as can be seen and they resolved without firing a single shot. The Chinese generals also believe that there is no point in using the military force unless it runs out of options. With India which has no first use of force policy options are always open, China just had to open a door. The crisis between the two nuclear neighbors faded as days passed behind closed door negotiations. It was a win-win situation for both India and China.
Moreover, Indian GDP in 2013 was $1.9 trillion when compared to Pakistan at only $236 billion, roughly at 12% of Indian Side. In other words, India is the 10th largest economy in terms of GDP in 2013 and has moved up steadily to 7th position with $2.1 trillion in 2016. China is seen maintaining its second position behind the US. This year it is expected to grow at a rate of 7% above world average. By 2050 India is expected to be a second largest economy.
The Chinese know that as India will ultimately become a major power on the international stage. The question hanging in front of China is “Will it (India) necessarily be friendly toward China?”. As Pakistan is embracing CPEC and its debt burden, Sino-Indian international cooperation far outweighs the disputes between two counties. Chinese top brass knows this. Its only Pakistan which wants to reign in China with the CPEC. The Chinese have already sensed that Pakistan is leeching on it for its own agenda in Kashmir. With deteriorating Sino-Japanese ties, Japan has proposed Asia-Pacific Quad between US, Japan Australia, and India. After resisting for many years India was persuaded by Japan and the Quad has been officially announced recently. China looks at this development as a snub to its regional dominance.
Influencing International Regimes
Recently during the US elections, Russian hand in creating manipulations in social media has been highlighted. However, Trump administration ignored the role of Chinese in manipulating its educational system for a long time. The educational institutions are largely turning towards Chinese for financing their projects. As Russians, the Chinese are also exerting their authoritarian influence on developing countries and are not targeting the US on a large scale. The US institutions are largely resisting Chinese pressures and showing academic integrity. However, there is a large gap between Chinese efforts and response from the US side. Recent retreat of Trump administration’s promotion US values, China has increased its efforts in this direction. In the same fashion, China is already trying to influence civilian government in Pakistan through Pakistan Army. This raises a serious question if China is a true friend of Pakistan?
Fall in Pakistan’s Rupee
Pakistan rupee dropped a record low on 12 Dec 2017. Falling 1.9 percent to 109.5 a dollar at 4:57 p.m. in Karachi. Though Islamabad promotes its currency as one of the most stable the real story is different as can be seen in the chart below. This is not due to a power play by an enemy of Pakistan but the State Bank of Pakistan initiated the devaluation.
The five-year chart shows that Pakistan’s Rupee eroding its value especially from 2008 till 2013. Then it stabilized in 2015 after a turbulent intermediate period. Investors and economists have called for the abandonment of central bank managed float after widened Pakistan’s current account deficit and dwindling foreign-exchange reserves this year. The situation got out of hand due to recent corruption charges and stoppage of CPEC loans by the Chinese authorities. The foreign exchange reserves have dwindled to 12.9 billion and an international debt of 2.5 billion has already been taken to boost it. The Chinese government knew this and could have stopped this devaluation had it not stopped the CPEC funding. This stoppage is also going to fuel and promote Pakistan Military’s engineering and construction company, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). Had China been a true friend of Pakistan it would not have taken this step.
The Grand Plot
China has cited its concerns over corruption in the CPEC projects as the reason for the move, but apparently, it is “an effort to boost the Pakistani military’s stake in the country’s economy at a time when the Pakistan Army, in particular, is flexing their political muscle.” This also coincided with the Pakistani Army brokered a deal between the government and Sunni Muslim group. The immediate aftermath of this Hafiz Saeed declared that he is contesting general elections and former Military dictator announced the formation of the grand political alliance and praised the role of Lashkar-e-Taiba. This seems to be a grand plot to contain Indian growth and promoting Pakistan’s Military role in its country over the democratic alliance. All this aids Chinese on all fronts whereas it demonizes Pakistan as a state of evil in front of the global audience. Already Pakistan has lost its image in the eyes of the world as terror heaven. All this aims at Chinese reaching the top to become a global power and there is no place for Pakistan. Pakistan is just another step for it to reach the top. This is finally the grand plot of China where Pakistan is mere a ladder to success.
Who is True Friend of Pakistan?
This Grand Plot is nothing but a plot to ensure that China leaps forward in the future to be the unchallenged superpower in the world. This is no friendship but being a greedy merchant of Venice, who is extracting his pound of flesh from a friend. This again forces us to question our selves “Is China True Friend of Pakistan?“.Hence, the people of Pakistan have to decide on the course of our country in the next general election by answering the following questions before deciding on whom to vote: –
Is China True Friend of Pakistan
In this article is on a subject which the Pakistani Government is not going to tell its people. It has been trying to hide the true interest of Chinese government from its people, however with the recent developments in the neighbourhood it has come out in clear that true friend of Pakistan is not a friend but a Capitalist country which may or may not support if the Pakistani cause does not have the ability to fill its coffers.
China is no communist country, unlike erstwhile USSR which was basically a communist country, with a basic hatred to all capitalist countries. We can say that it was communist at national and international level. However, China is a communist country with a different agenda. It is a country which has strong determination to dominate the world in all spheres. This blind thirst to be superior in the world by the Chinese Government sees no bound. Chinese leadership has four-pronged approach to world domination described below
The Chinese government has strict control of its population. People within its own country are not free to move around and do business freely. Minutest of opposition or questioning is crushed. Labour in rural areas cannot migrate to other areas to seek employment. Their control is total. Even Pakistanis visiting their country are subjected to full scrutiny and cannot deviate. Recently Chinese government undertook oppressive methods on people following Islam and ordered them to deposit Quran and display the Chinese Supreme Leaders Photograph in their Drawing rooms. It is a matter of controversy to see our country is supporting such country which follows blasphemy.
Restrictions on own market
The Chinese government also restricts its market to foreigners by imposing travel restrictions and long delays in processing visa applications even to friendly countries like Pakistan. However, in contrast, a Chinese citizen can get longish multiple entry visas in 24 hours from Pakistani counterparts, the Chinese issue a visa for no more than three months with only 3 entry permits also to note is the processing of visa application which takes about 30 days. Such impediments for doing business in Chinese mainland is making the Chinese market inaccessible: a way to protect its wealth from leaking into another economy.
Over Seas Acquisition by State Financing
Chinese firms of late have been continuously acquiring various industry leaders. Recently the world giant such as Lenovo, Nortel, and other firms have been acquired by Chinese firms. Thus, their access to Intellectual Property (IP)of these companies which were decades ahead of Chinese companies was acquired by just paying a paltry sum of money. Much of the money is paid to Chinese companies by their government in the name of research and development fund. Such funds are not available to any Pakistani company hence such acquisitions are a dream, thus no IPR will ever originate from Pakistani soil. The most recent one is Chinese firm trying to bid for Online Chat service provider Whatsapp, the US government had to intervene and pay up Facebook to outbid a Chinese company. In September this year (2017), Trump administration blocked the sale of Lattice Semiconductor, a leading chipmaker in the US, for $1.3billion to Chinese backed Capital Partners. The deal was being financed by the Chinese government to gain access to important Intellectual Property held by that company. The US administration has already launched an investigation in this regards. This shows that US government has now woken up from sleep to guard Intellectual Property Rights held by its country.
Although Chinese espionage targets the whole world for world dominance a major thrust is in gaining technological acquisition and military modernization. The technology required by Chinese is spotted and Chinese use every means to acquire the technology. First to use is the espionage, second is a partnership and last is acquiring the IPR holder. This enables them to undercut the expenditure in research and enable them to leapfrog to the forefront by overcoming the cultural disadvantage and leveraging the creativity of other nations. Here we should remember that the Chinese do not have freedom of opinion in their country due to its strict communist governance, thus curtailing creativity to a large extent. This leapfrogging is enabling it to achieve one of the greatest wealth transfer. It is reported that the Chinese had successfully infiltrated into US defence research networks and were successful in exfiltration highly classified documents of F-35 project and incorporated the J-20 fighter.
Russian federation never used corruption openly in taking on the western capitalist countries. However, the Chinese are different if all the above steps fail they entice the target countries like Pakistan. It is a matter of fact our country has sold its Islamic soul to Chinese government. The fault lies in Pakistan Army as they were till date custodians of our country as democracy has always brought with it ultimate form of corruption. When such pristine organisation itself get corrupt who can save the protected from a foreign molester. How on earth can the Pakistan Army explain their 20-Billion-dollar stake in around 50 conglomerates stretching from Banks, Industrial Plants, Universities etc. They get prime plots in real estate projects and have all the amenities from these business houses where their investments are held. It looks like the Chinese are the internal force which wants Pakistan to fight with its neighbours like Afghanistan and India by fomenting ideas into our Generals in Pakistan Army and bribing them to spread such ideas. We have been fighting India tooth and nail from the day we got independence and China has been supporting us without any return. A purely business oriented country like China is having ulterior motives and it just wants to see two of its neighbours fighting while it is silently watching without spending a drop of blood.
Finally, the essence of this article is that the Chinese have corrupted Pakistani society and now are trying to buy the soul of Pakistan by bribing its Politicians, Generals, and Bureaucracy, to finally enslave it. A neighbouring country recently got a loan almost of the same amount at fraction of percentile and Pakistan gets a similar loan at a very high rate of interest, which finally will bind our country to follow China for many years to come. Being a citizen what can we do? Can we stand with high morals? When no Muslim is allowed to take interest or give interest on a loan in sharia, then how come Pakistan as a islamic country is giving interest to Chinese. In this connection even our Maulvis and Mullahs are not debating and showing the true path to Pakistani citizens.
The author is pursuing research in Finance and Audit from Lahore.