JK News Today
Jammu, March 28: Contrary to the popular perception that China and Pakistan are forever friends for each other, a U.S. report has concluded that permanent alliance between the two countries is not inevitable.
The report titled , “ A Threshold Alliance: The China – Pakistan Military Relationship “, has laid out a broad contour of the military relationship between China and Pakistan, and shown that the two countries have drawn closer to each other in the military relationship. It has pointed out the joint exercises and military cooperation have brought them pursue their military interests, but all these fall short of military alliance owing to Pakistan’s interests rooted in the United States. It also observed the sharp competition between US and China.
These observations made in the report authored by South Asia expert at the United States Institute of Peace ( USIP) is also critical to India . Both China and Pakistan are immediate neighbours and with both of them the relations are far from being smooth. China has inflicted a military situation along Line of Actual Control for the past three years , and Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorism and its ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir. China- Pakistan military cooperation has always been and continues to be a matter of national security concerns.
Lalwani has noted : “Geopolitical shifts in South Asia over the past decade, driven by sharper US-China competition, a precipitous decline in China-India relations, and the 2021 withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, have pushed the Chinese and Pakistani militaries closer together. The countries’ armies and navies are increasingly sharing equipment, engaging in more sophisticated joint exercises, and interacting more closely through staff and officer exchanges. Yet, as this report concludes, a full China-Pakistan alliance is not inevitable, as Chinese missteps and other sources of friction could slow its consummation.”
Main points of the report have been summarised like this.
Despite China’s eschewal of formal alliances, the China-Pakistan military partnership has deepened significantly over the past decade, approaching a threshold alliance. The trajectory toward a military alliance is not, however, inevitable.
China is Pakistan’s most important defense partner since the end of the Cold War. Beijing has become the leading supplier of Pakistan’s conventional weapons and strategic platforms and the dominant supplier of Pakistan’s higher-end offensive strike capabilities.
China’s military diplomacy with Pakistan quantitatively and qualitatively rivals its military partnership with Russia. China and Pakistan have accelerated the tempo of joint military exercises, which are growing in complexity and interoperability. Increasingly compatible arms supply chains and networked communications systems could allow the countries to aggregate their defense capabilities.
The prospects for China projecting military power over the Indian Ocean from Pakistan’s Western coast are growing. Chinese basing has meaningful support within Pakistan’s strategic circles. The material and political obstacles to upgrading naval access into wartime contingency basing appear to be surmountable and diminishing