China’s Strategic Alliance with Pakistan
Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s recent threats against Pakistan for allegedly promoting Taliban terrorism are pure rhetoric. Their purpose is to conceal the strategic importance of Pakistan (and Afghanistan) in US competition with China over oil and national gas resources. It also conceals the reality that the undeclared US war against Pakistan (approximately 2,000 civilians have been killed since the drone attacks started in 2004 – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan) is really a proxy war against China.
Pakistan is China’s strongest ally in protecting the oil supply critical to its booming economy is Pakistan. At present China imports 46% of its oil. In contrast the US imports 60%. (See http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90778/90860/6891500.html). Twenty percent of Chinese oil imports come from Saudi Arabia and somewhat less from Angola (see http://www.presstv.ir/detail/183746.html.) Ten percent of China’s oil imports come from Iran.
Growing Military Tension in Pakistan
Until recently, all oil originating from Saudi Arabia and Iran had to be transported via the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, which is under the control of the US Navy (see http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/62604/dennis-blair-and-kenneth-lieberthal/smooth-sailingthe-worlds-shipping-lanes-are-safe). To counterbalance this de facto US control over their oil transhipments, China built a port in Gwadar (in Balochistan province) Pakistan to facilitate overland oil transport – via an extensive Chinese-built super highway and eventually the IPIC (the Iran- Pakistan- India-China) pipeline.
Since 2002, covert CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement and daily “terrorist” bombings and assassinations have seriously disrupted operations at the Gwadar Port (see “Our CIA Freedom Fighters in Pakistan” at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2011/03/07/our-cia-freedom-fighters-in-pakistan/). As this obviously has more effect on the Pakistan economy than on China, the Pakistani government has recently given China permission to build a naval base in Gwadar http://corredorbioceanico.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/great-game-in-the-indian-ocean/.This move is also partly motivated by continued US violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty with CIA drone strikes in Waziristan.
China’s Other Strategic Alliances
As US influence in Saudi Arabia declines (in 2003 they demanded the US withdraw their troops from Saudi military bases – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_Saudi_Arabia), the Chinese also strengthen political and economic ties with the Saudis.
Meanwhile as the US prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan, the US State Department is extremely concerned about growing Chinese investment and influence in Afghanistan, especially in view of China’s strong alliance with Pakistan and the latter’s historic links with the Taliban (which seems positioned to take power following US withdrawal). Important context often omitted by the US media is that the CIA collaborated with Pakistan to create the Taliban in CIA-funded Madrassas (fundamentalist Islamic schools) to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1988). The subsequent Taliban takeover was fully supported by both Bush senior and Clinton, in the belief that they had the ability to bring peace and stability to a country devastated by decades of civil war. Both were essential to enable US oil companies to employ Afghanistan as a transit route for newly discovered Caspian Sea oil and gas. It was only when the Taliban balked at the Bush administration’s proposed oil-gas pipeline in 2001 that they became the enemy.
It’s no surprise that China is also one of the strongest political and economic supporters of Hamas and the Palestinian peace process (see http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-03/26/content_12231765.htm). At present Israeli terrorist victims are suing a Chinese bank that provided major financial support to Hamas (http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=228728).
US Allegiances in the Middle East
India, Pakistan’s long time enemy, is a strong ally of the US (second only to Israel) in this strategic war over resources. Indian intelligence (RAW) is a longstanding supporter of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance. With US military support, the Northern Alliance installed Ahmed Karzai as president of Afghanistan following the US invasion, although Karzai only controls a small area around Kabul. RAW provided the Northern Alliance with weapons, training and financial support while the US and Pakistan were still supporting the Taliban. In addition, RAW provides major support for the Baloch separatist movement in Pakistan (see “Our CIA Freedom Fighters in Pakistan” at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2011/03/07/our-cia-freedom-fighters-in-pakistan/). According to many Pakistani analysts, it’s also responsible for cross border terrorism on the Kashmir-Pakistan border (see http://www.newscenterpk.com/indian-double-game-with-bangladesh.html).