Regional Security & Army Chief’s visit to China
Pakistan-China-India co-exist in a complicated regional security complex. Due to their geographical contiguity, the primary security concerns of all three states are linked to each other. This is the fundamental reason that whole region is impacted due to intervention by any external power.
All three countries have the potential to influence not only each other but other smaller countries in the region. Afghanistan, hotbed of terrorism has been a contested ground for gaining control over militant groups for regional and global players. US intervention in Afghanistan made the issue of terrorism a global issue which has direct impact on security of Pakistan at least. Pakistan and Afghanistan were forced to form alliances and bandwagon with America for two decades. US withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, and its Indo-Pacific region policy, which have brought new dimensions for regional security.
Recently, China and Russia’s efforts have brought back, two arch rivals of Muslim world, on the table, Iran and KSA. Iran has officially extended invitation to Saudi leadership for visit to Iran. It is big development. This new development will not only have impact on middle east politics but also for south Asian countries.
India is well entrenched in middle east for its trade and security relationship. Moreover, American’s India centric approach to maintain security in Indian ocean raises a concern for both China and Pakistan.
In a fast changing global geo-political landscape, General Asim Munir’s visit to China is very significant. After taking over as Chief of Army Staff, it is his first visit to China. He was accorded very warm welcome on arrival at the People’s Liberation Army Headquarters. The handout issued after delegation level meeting stated that both military leaders reiterated the need for maintaining peace and stability in the region and enhancing military to military cooperation. China and Pakistan have strategic ties and both countries mutually enjoy the long standing trust and friendship among each other. This visit is likely to result into strengthening of these ties for benefit of both time tested friends.
The South Asian region is the most volatile region in the world which is characterized by a high level of insecurity on all fronts, interstate, intrastate, and human security. The majority of South Asia’s problems are the result of intricate internal dynamics exacerbated by an external factor. Several aspects of this region’s security became entrenched during the cold war, including Indo-Pak relations, Sino-India relations, and nuclear and conventional weapons proliferation. Numerous potential shifts in the region’s relationship with global and regional politics occurred following the 9/11 war against terrorism. South Asia’s geopolitical situation has deteriorated markedly as a result of the involvement of extra-regional powers such as the US, Russia and NATO countries.
China is fastest growing economy in the world. Focus of Chinese dream is to enhance connectivity and infrastructure through assertive and nationalist approach. To achieve the objectives of regional influence, BRI is a lead initiative that has benefitted so far 65% of the global population and received the advantages of this initiative contributing towards 40% of global GDP.
It is sensible to predict that perceived advantages related to economic integration will also influence the political choices for all countries connected to BRI. These political choices will have a bend towards China which are likely to result into destabilizing the existing global order.
West and east academia have their own view points on rise of China but they are certain that China would become global hegemon, but when, that is the point under discussion. China would be able to shape the whole world in its own picture, but presently in spite of its fastest growth and a strong economy, China is still behind US in three dimensions of power that are payment, attraction and coercion, especially in the soft power. Anyhow, geo-politics is dynamic and circumstances are more complex at the moment.
World is moving fast into a multipolar global order which does not belong to anyone. Multilateral diplomacy is strong and powerful instrument for acceleration and construction of the multipolar world.
President Jinping view of the world have played significant role in shifting China’s policies at domestic, regional, and international level. China’s new approach is focused on supporting the world growth and material gains through multilateralism and soft power.
China BRI’s aims to implement an alternative root for the continent to manage trade and imports of energy for reducing the dependence upon maritime routes. Central Asia is highly significant for success of BRI and so is CPEC. Two corridors of BRI passes through Central Asia and one through Pakistan. Gwadar is the linchpin of CPEC.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is not an alternative route but main artery of BRI which provides shortest and secure route to China to access the Indian ocean via Gwadar. Gwadar port, will be a big utility for central Asian states for getting the direct and shortest route for trade through Indian ocean. The link road between China’s southern province and Gwadar in Pakistan is complete. Expansion of Gwadar and special economic zones within entire Pakistan are underway.50% energy projects have been completed and Pakistan Army is security the entire route of CPEC and also Gwadar port. Thus the visit of General Asim Munir, Pakistan Army Chief is highly significant for regional security and politics of Indian Ocean regions in future.
Writer is Phd in International Relations from QAU and holds independent views on issues related to the global politics. Writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org