Accession Number:

ADA592022

Title:

The Enemy of My Enemy: Pakistan's China Debate

Descriptive Note:

Special assessment rept.

Corporate Author:

ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

In current circumstances of U.S. global dominance and shifting strategic alignments in Asia, Pakistani leaders have been compelled to reexamine their four-decades-long alliance with China and to consider the possibility that China, lured by alternative alignments in the course of its progress toward greater global power, may lose interest in Pakistan. A long-standing consensus persists among Pakistanis, nevertheless, that the alliance with China is not only indispensable but also more than likely to endure. The consensus is driven by Pakistans increasing dependence on China s massive and sustained military aid and by the Pakistani conviction that Pakistan and China share major strategic interests. The most important strategic interest shared by China and Pakistan is the containment of India. Pakistan s principal stakeholders in an enduring China connection are its armed forces and their civilian allies both in the federal bureaucracy and in the countrys sprawling defense community. These same stakeholders have an equal, or even greater, interest in sustaining Pakistans present alliance with the United States but such an alliance is up against formidable obstacles, foremost among them the Pakistanis deep-seated mistrust of American intentions in South Asia. In the best of all worlds, Pakistanis would choose to have close and enduring relations with both China and the United States. Whether Pakistanis continue indefinitely to look to China to meet their military and strategic needs will depend, in the end, on momentous strategic decisions yet to be made not only in Islamabad and Beijing but also in Washington and possibly New Delhi.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE