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May 26, 2011 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 691

China Warns U.S.: 'Any Attack on Pakistan Would Be Construed As an Attack on China' – Evolving Pakistani-Chinese Alliance to Face the U.S./India

May 26, 2011 | By Yigal Carmon, Tufail Ahmad
Pakistan, , , Afghanistan, India, China | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 691


On May 18, 2011, Pakistani and Chinese officials sign bilateral agreements in Shanghai while Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao look on (Image courtesy: Roznama Express, Pakistan, May 19, 2011)

Introduction

In an analysis titled "A Looming Super Power Clash Triggered by Pakistan," published February 15, 2011, MEMRI pointed to the rapidly growing danger of a U.S.-Pakistan clash which would involve – in addition to the United States, China and Pakistan – India, Russia, NATO powers, and other forces in the region.[1] In the past few months, U.S.-Pakistan relations have further deteriorated, into open sabotage of CIA operations in Pakistan by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

On May 17-20, 2011, this process took an escalating turn with the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to China, which was described by Pakistani Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan as "historic," and one that "would certainly open a new chapter in China-Pakistan relations under the new international environment and historical conditions."[2] Gilani's four-day China visit was of unprecedented international importance, coming as it did in the wake of the May 2, 2011 killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. Pakistani leaders saw bin Laden's killing in a unilateral U.S. operation as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and national dignity, while U.S. politicians and media suspected ISI complicity in providing the Al-Qaeda leader for several years with a safe hideout in Abbottabad, in close proximity to a Pakistani military academy.

Amid this explosive situation, the Gilani visit was seen as a move to protect Pakistan from possible measures the U.S. might take against it, and to undercut U.S. and Indian influence in the region, which Pakistan has long perceived as a threat to its national security. While Pakistan and China are longstanding allies, a fundamental shift can now be observed in their strategic relationship, which is characterized by a bolstering of their military and other relations and by a significant rupture in Pakistani-U.S. relations.

This analysis will review the multi-dimensional elements of the Pakistan's rapidly increasing alignment with China to face an anticipated stand-off – and even an open armed clash – with the U.S. and India.

The Military Dimension

I. Chinese Commitment to Defending Pakistan

Pakistan is now engineering a seismic shift in its overall relationships by aligning itself with China as a counterbalance to the U.S. and India. China, too, has expressed its own interest in this alignment. Following the Abbottabad operation, which indicated that there might have been Pakistani government or ISI complicity in harboring bin Laden, Pakistan feared that the U.S. could carry out a similar unilateral operation targeting the Pakistani nuclear installations.[3] China was the first and perhaps only country to express a commitment to ensuring Pakistan's stability. Soon after the Abbottabad operation, China "indicated it will... back its long-term strategic ally's efforts to maintain [Pakistan's] stability."[4]

During Gilani's visit, China gave indications of the manner in which it was willing to underwrite Pakistan's sovereignty and stability. According to a May 19, 2011 Pakistani daily report, "China... warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China..." The report, citing highly placed diplomatic sources in Beijing, noted: "Beijing has advised Washington to respect Pakistan's sovereignty... and this was formally conveyed to the United States at last week's China-U.S. strategic dialogue and economic talks."[5] Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who was in Washington for these U.S.-China talks in mid-May 2011, conveyed China's "feelings" to this effect to the U.S., as did Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao himself to Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani during two-hour-long formal talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.[6]

II. Air and Naval Cooperation

During Prime Minister Gilani's visit, China agreed to "immediately" provide the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) with 50 new JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter planes.[7] Although an agreement to supply the JF-17s had been signed earlier, during the visit, Islamabad and Beijing also discussed the possibility of China supplying the PAF with J-20 Stealth and Xiaolong/FC-1 multi-purpose light fighter aircraft.[8]

In recent years, joint Pakistani-Chinese naval cooperation has strengthened, involving a contract for China to build four missile and heavy weapon carrying warships.[9] The first Chinese-built F-22P Frigate was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy in July 2009.[10] The Chinese frigate, a medium-sized warship, is equipped with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-submarine helicopters. Admiral Noman Bashir, Chief of the Pakistan Navy, has stated that Pakistan hopes to buy bigger ships with more firepower from China, such as 4,000-ton class frigates.[11] In an interview with China Daily in July 2010, Admiral Bashir said: "The friendship between China and Pakistan is greater than the Himalayas and deeper than the ocean. We already made progress in [the] air force and other areas; now we should further expand the cooperation in [the] navy [to become] broadly-based relation[s]." He also commented on the Pakistani side of the naval cooperation with China, stating: "We [the Pakistan Navy] can provide facilities, ports, logistics, [and] maintenance, among other things..."[12]

During Gilani's May 17-20 visit, Pakistan asked China to build a naval base at Gwadar, in addition to the commercial port there. Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, the Pakistani defense minister who accompanied Gilani to China, said: "We would be more grateful to the Chinese government if a naval base was... constructed at the site of Gwadar." The Pakistani defense minister also commented on the overall nature of the Pakistan-China relationship, stating: "China is an all-weather friend and the closest ally of Pakistan, and [this] can be judged from the fact that, in whichever sectors Pakistan requested assistance during... [Prime Minister Gilani's] recent visit to China, [the latter] immediately agreed."[13] According to a Pakistani daily report, "China is the main arms supplier to Pakistan..."[14]

III. Deployment of Chinese Troops in Pakistani Kashmir

In 2010, international media reports revealed that more than 11,000 Chinese troops had been stationed in Gilgit Baltistan, an ethnically diverse region of Pakistan that was traditionally part of Jammu and Kashmir. While Chinese military engineers had in the past worked in Pakistan, this marked the first time Chinese soldiers were building concrete residential houses and opening branches of Chinese banks. In 2011, it was revealed that the presence of the Chinese troops was not limited to Gilgit Baltistan, but that they had moved into Pakistani Kashmir along India. In May 2011, Indian intelligence agencies also reported that they had "credible evidence" that there were Chinese troops on the Pakistani side of Jammu and Kashmir, which is divided by the Line of Control (LoC) between Pakistan and India.[15] The website of The Times of India daily reported that several hundred Chinese were working in Pakistani Kashmir as engineers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, while the Indian intelligence agencies are "verifying if these Chinese military engineers are engaged in some sort of military construction like bunkers."[16]

A warning was issued in April 2011 by Lt.-Gen. K. T. Parnaik, head of the Indian Army's Northern Command (which oversees Kashmir), that India faces a threat from the Chinese troops based in Pakistani Kashmir, who could be deployed on the Line of Control against India.[17] This is perhaps the first time that an Indian Army general in active service has publicly voiced concern over a Chinese military threat to India in Kashmir.[18]

IV. Chinese Military Interest Geared Against the U.S. in Af-Pak Theater

While the deployment of Chinese troops in Pakistani Kashmir can be understood as part of longstanding rivalries and hostilities between China and India, the Chinese military interest in the Pakistani-Afghan border and in the routes via which U.S. supplies reach Afghanistan indicates that the Chinese interest is also geared against the U.S.

The Chinese military leadership has recently been assessing the implications of a likely U.S. military incursion into the Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, which so far had not been of any strategic interest to China. In October 2010, a high-level delegation of the Chinese Army visited the Landikotal Army Garrison in Khyber Agency. The Chinese team comprised five high-ranking officials, led by Director-General of the People's Liberation Army Major-General Yan Hu. Commenting on the importance of the Chinese military team's visit, an October 29, 2010 report in The News daily stated: "The delegation stayed in Landikotal for several hours amid tight security. All the link[ing] roads and [the] Torkham Gate were blocked to the public. NATO supply remained suspended during the delegation's visit to [nearby] Michini Checkpost."[19]

V. China Funding Pakistani Nuclear Knowhow

Over the past few decades, China has funded and technologically supported Pakistan's nuclear program. On May 12, 2011, Pakistan's third nuclear electric power plant became operational. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, while inaugurating the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-1 (CHASNUPP-2), located near Chashma Barrage on the left bank of the River Indus, 20 miles south of the town of Mianwali, paid tributes to China's support: "Today is a proud day for Pakistan and for Pakistan's civil nuclear energy program... It is yet another illustrious example of the Pakistan-China cooperation in the field of nuclear science and technology." Two more nuclear plants, C-3 and C-4, are already under construction at the site.[20]

India has expressed concern that the Pakistani nuclear strategy is aimed at building low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons which can be used in case of conflict along the Pakistan-India border. A May 19, 2011 Indian media report warned that Pakistan was building its fourth reactor at the Khushab military facility, and that it now had the capability of adding eight to 10 such tactical nuclear weapons yearly to its arsenal: "The figure [regarding Pakistani nuclear weapons] is likely to go up considerably once the new reactor becomes operational in less than two years. [The] latest satellite images revealed recently that Pakistan has expedited work on the fourth reactor, a plutonium producing facility." S. D. Pradhan, former chief of India's Joint Intelligence Committee, which has closely monitored Pakistan's nuclear weapon program, commented on the Pakistani drive to produce plutonium bombs, stating: "They are following the Chinese model of [producing] low-yield nuclear weapons. Pakistan believes these weapons will provide it a flexible response in case of an escalation with India..."[21]

VI. Chinese Radars for Pakistan

After the assassination of Osama bin Laden, Pakistani media reports indicated that Pakistan's radar system had been jammed by the U.S. in order to facilitate the operation. During Gilani's visit, China offered to upgrade Pakistan's radar system and satellite technology. During a visit to the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing on May 20, the Pakistani prime minister was briefed on the latest Chinese radar systems and satellite technology. It is expected that China will provide Pakistan with 10 state-of-the-art radar and satellite systems. [22]

VII. Cooperation on Satellites and Missile Systems

According to a Pakistani media report, the two countries have also agreed to step up work on Pakistan's satellite, which is currently being built in China and scheduled for launch on August 14, 2011, Pakistan's Independence Day. The satellite will supply "multifarious data" to Pakistan.[23]

Pakistan claims that its missile program is developed domestically, though its missile technologies are thought to have been provided by North Korea, a Chinese ally. On April 29, 2011, Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of a Hatf-8 cruise missile. The nuclear-capable Hatf-8 (Ra'ad) missile, which has a range of over 350 kilometers, was developed exclusively for launch from aerial platforms. The missile is reported to be a low altitude, terrain-hugging missile with high maneuverability and stealth capabilities. [24] Earlier in April, Pakistan also conducted the first test of a Hatf-9 surface-to-surface ballistic (Nasr) missile.[25]

The Economic Dimension

I. Chinese-Pakistani Economic Integration

China is investing in all sectors of the Pakistani economy on a major scale. Pakistan has also expressed its goal to align the Pakistani economy with that of China. During Gilani's visit, the two countries explored ways of bolstering economic ties, including the establishment of trans-border economic zones, the institution of integrated border management systems, collaboration on intra-regional and trans-regional economic and development agendas, corporate sector interaction in joint projects, the opening of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) branches in Pakistan, finalization of the currency swap arrangement, and more.

In Beijing, Prime Minister Gilani stated that Pakistan would forge deeper economic engagement with China. He said that Pakistan was determined to take all necessary measures to achieve closer economic integration with China, stating: "The free trade agreement, the joint five-year economic program, the joint investment companies, as well as the ongoing cooperation in financial and banking sectors, the great interaction between our capital markets, and robust defense and defense production cooperation are but a few example of the direction our strategic cooperation partnership has taken."[26]

II. Boosting Bilateral Trade

Pakistan and China are rapidly boosting their economic ties and bilateral trade. According to statistics presented in May 2011 before the National Assembly (the Lower House of the Pakistani Parliament), between March 2005 and December 2010, China collaborated on six different Pakistani projects, worth a total of $2.7 billion, providing both technical and financial support.[27] The two countries are now pressing ahead in the areas of trade, banking, ports, roads, and railways.

In 2010, the total volume of Pakistan-China trade rose by $2 billion, to approximately $8.7 billion.[28] Compared to 2009, a 37 percent increase was seen in Pakistani exports to China year, while Chinese exports to Pakistan increased by 28 percent. During his China visit, Prime Minister Gilani said that measures were being implemented to increase Pakistan's trade volume with China to reach $15 billion a year by 2013.[29]

III. Pakistan Encouraging Chinese Investment

Pakistan is encouraging Chinese investments in different areas of the Pakistani economy and seeking incentives for Pakistani businessmen in China, notably in China's Kashgar Special Economic Zone in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, several hundred kilometers the border with Pakistan.

In May 2011, a 50-member Chinese economic delegation led by Muhametmin Yashen (Muhammad Amin Yasin), deputy director-general of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, visited Islamabad. In the Pakistani capital, Pakistani leaders advised the Chinese team that China could tap the one-trillion dollar Halal foods industry by providing special incentives to Pakistani businessmen to invest in the Kashgar Special Economic Zone. Pakistani business leader Raza Khan, chairman coordination of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), told the Chinese delegation that they should explore opportunities in sectors like finance, banking, power, alternative energy, information technology, engineering goods, textile machinery, agriculture, agro-based industry, food, fruit processing, packaging, livestock, dairy farming, and real estate.[30]

IV. China Loans Pakistan $1.7 Billion for Lahore Rail System

The Export-Import Bank of China recently agreed to give Pakistan a loan of $1.7 billion for the development of a rail system in Lahore. Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, chairman of the Lahore Transport Company, said, "The bank agreed to lend us the money with a two-year grace period, and our aim is to get it at 6% interest."[31] It should be noted that Lahore is the capital of Punjab, the most influential Pakistani province, whose government cancelled six U.S. aid agreements in the fields of health, education, and waste management in protest against the U.S. operation against bin Laden in Abbottabad.[32]

The Diplomatic Dimension

During Prime Minister Gilani's visit to Beijing, China's top leaders expressed support for Pakistan in the wake of the Abbottabad operation. In his meeting with Gilani, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced that China was sending a special envoy to Islamabad in a show of solidarity with Pakistan at this crucial period in its history.

On May 19, 2011, Jia Qinglin, head of the powerful Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), declared that China would never leave Pakistan in the lurch and that the strategic cooperation between the two countries would reach new heights. "No matter how the global situation may change, the resolve and determination of the government and the people of China in developing its friendly relations with Pakistan will never be swayed," Qinglin said at a reception held in honor of Prime Minister Gilani. Noting that China had always considered the development of cooperation with Pakistan a priority, Qinglin said: "China will stand together with Pakistan to seize the opportunity presented by the 60th anniversary [since the first bilateral ties between the two countries]. We want to carry forward our tradition of friendship in all areas of our strategic partnership and cooperation and take our bilateral ties to a higher plane."[33]

During his meeting with Gilani in Beijing, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao assured Pakistan of China's "all-weather friendship," stating: "I wish to stress here that no matter what changes might take place in the international landscape, China and Pakistan will remain forever good neighbors, good friends, good partners, and good brothers... I do believe that this visit will give a strong boost to the friendship and cooperation between our two countries and take that friendship and cooperation to a new high."[34]

Implications for the U.S., India, Afghanistan

I. The U.S.

Pakistan's bolstering of its relations with China is aimed at countering U.S. influence in the region. Pakistan's highest defense forum, the Defense Committee of the Cabinet (DCC), meeting under Prime Minister Gilani on May 12, 2011, reviewed its relations with the U.S. in the wake of the Abbottabad operation, which it called a "violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," and resolved to redefine Pakistan's cooperation with the U.S. "in accordance with Pakistan's national interests and the aspirations of the people."[35] Among those who attended the meeting were: Senior Minister for Defense Production Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shamim Wynne, Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Defense Secretary Lt. Gen. (retired) Syed Athar Ali, and other senior officials.

According to a report in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Ummat, the top Pakistani military leadership has resolved to teach the U.S. a tough lesson. The report said that a decision to this effect was reached at a meeting at the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi, following which military officials met with Pakistani President Asif Zardari and other civilian government leaders to apprise them of their position.[36] The Pakistani Army's realignment with China may reflect this desire to teach the U.S. a lesson. However, it may also represent a provocative move by Pakistan, with Chinese backing, aimed at damaging the U.S.'s position in South Asia, and potentially aimed against India and Afghanistan, as well. Such a provocation could trigger a super power clash.[37]

II. India

India's civilian and military leaders have consistently expressed concern over the deepening military ties between Pakistan and China, as well as over the deployment of Chinese troops inside Pakistani Kashmir, a territory claimed by India. India fears that its security is being undermined by China's military support to Pakistan, both in Kashmir and against mainland India.

On May 19, 2011, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony expressed concern over China's decision to "immediately" provide Pakistan with 50 new JF-17 Thunder multi-role warplanes, stating: "It is a matter of serious concern for us. The main thing is, we have to increase our capability..."[38] In mid-May 2011, Lieutenant-General K. T. Parnaik, commander of the Indian Army's Northern Command, warned against "deep collaboration in weapon[s] delivery" between Pakistan and China. He also spoke of China's strategic moves in Pakistan, stating, "China is helping Pakistan in building a road from the Khunjerab Pass [on the Chinese border with Pakistan] to Gwadar Port, besides other infrastructure projects, like dams very close to the Line of Control (LoC)."[39]

In a recent article, former Indian Army chief General (retired) V. P. Malik warned that Pakistan and China were articulating a "joint interest" against India. He stated: "Though the Chinese army would not point guns towards our posts on the LoC, the fact that they are there reflects their 'joint' interest and enhancement of strategic and operational preparedness on the LoC along with Pakistan."[40]

India is reassessing the combined threat it faces with the Pakistani-Chinese defense collaboration. At a recent meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Indian Army Chief General V. K. Singh presented a three-pronged strategy to counter China's growing presence in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in Pakistani Kashmir. The strategy calls for a dedicated mountain strike corps, significant enhancement in the army's tactical airlift capability, and improvement in India's infrastructure along its border with China.[41] India has also expressed concern over the support Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has provided the Taliban in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani Network. It fears that with China supporting the Pakistani military establishment, efforts to defeat the Taliban-led terrorism in Afghanistan may not succeed, especially after the U.S. withdraws its troops from Afghanistan.

III. Afghanistan

Afghanistan is too weak a state to make an independent stance on the growing military and non-military relations between China and Pakistan, whose support to the Taliban militants has been the main cause of terrorism in Afghanistan over the past few decades. As a result of Chinese-Pakistani military collaboration, the interests of Afghanistan, as well as U.S. and Indian interests there, could be adversely affected, especially in light of the Pakistani military's use of the Taliban organizations as strategic assets working in the interests of Pakistan.

Parallel to the ISI-backed Taliban surge in terror attacks in Afghanistan, the Pakistani government has mounted a diplomatic offensive on Kabul. On April 16, 2011, most of Pakistan's military leadership arrived there to hold bilateral talks with the Afghan government. Among the delegates at the meeting were: Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Pakistani Junior Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistani Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, and ISI chief Lt.-Gen. Shuja Pasha, whose involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks has been raised in a lawsuit filed in New York court against the ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba. During the day-long talks, it was decided in an unprecedented move to establish a two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission, including General Kayani and Lt.-Gen. Pasha, which would enable the Pakistani military chiefs a greater role in molding Afghanistan's internal affairs and foreign policies. It was perhaps the first time that the Pakistani military has formally managed to embed itself in a mechanism which will allow it to shape Afghanistan's future.

According to an Afghan media report, some of the written demands made by Prime Minister Gilani at the meeting were as follows: "Pakistan should be consulted on the training and number of Afghan forces; Pakistan's share in Afghan mines and development projects should be clarified; implementation of Pakistani strategies in future governments in Afghanistan [and the] recruitment of Pakistani cadres in [Afghan] government institutions [should be ensured]; and Pakistan should be kept aware of any sort of agreement between Afghanistan and its Western allies, including the U.S. and NATO..."[42] Of all Pakistan's demands, Gilani's insistence on the appointment of Pakistani officials within Afghan government institutions is Pakistan's most blatant attempt to undermine Afghanistan's long-term independence. It should be noted here that during the Taliban rule there, some Pakistani nationals worked in Taliban-led Afghan government institutions.

Pakistan's demands reflect a clear intent at subjugating Afghanistan to Pakistani rule. Following the April 16 talks, Afghan analysts accused Pakistan of violating diplomatic norms by demanding major concessions from Afghanistan. According to a report in the Pashtu-language daily Khedmatgar Wrazpanra, Prime Minister Gilani told President Karzai that the U.S. had been defeated in the region, and that it therefore behooved Pakistan and Afghanistan to prefer China as a strategic regional ally. According to the report, Gilani also said that it would not be in Afghanistan's interest to allow U.S. forces any long-term presence in the country.[43] According to another report on the Afghan website Shamshadtv.tv, former Afghan politician Sulaiman Layaq commented on the Pakistani strategic move in Afghanistan, stating: "The Pakistani government supposes Afghanistan is a Pakistani colony..."[44]

The Pakistani state's new stance vis-à-vis Afghanistan contains all the elements and dangers of a direct clash between Pakistan and Afghanistan. As a result, it will almost inevitably trigger a large scale clash that could all too easily involve all the regional and international powers present in the South Asian region.

* Tufail Ahmad is Director of MEMRI's South Asia Studies Project (www.memri.org/sasp); Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI.

Endnotes:

[1] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 665, "A Looming Super Power Clash Triggered by Pakistan," February 15, 2011, A Looming Superpower Clash Triggered by Pakistan.

[2] App.com.pk (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[3] After the Abbottabad operation, Pakistani media reports regularly expressed a national concern for the security of Pakistani nuclear installations.

[4] The Hindu (India), May 3, 2011.

[5] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[6] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[7] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[8] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011. The PAF sees itself as aligned against the U.S. and its other Western allies. According to a November 18, 2010, report on the website of newspaper The Nation (Nation.com.pk), PAF Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman stated: ''The PAF has no plans to install Western devices and weapons on the aircraft for the time being."

[9] The News (Pakistan), July 16, 2010.

[10] Daily Times (Pakistan), July 31, 2009.

[11] Chinadaily.com.cn (China), July 22, 2010.

[12] Chinadaily.com.cn (China), July 22, 2010.

[13] Chinapost.com.tw (Taiwan), May 23, 2011.

[14] Tribune.com.pk (Pakistan), May 18, 2011.

[15] These details are based on a survey by renowned Kashmiri writer Dr. Shabir Choudhry, who led a team of researchers in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Kashmir in October 2010. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.3772, "Kashmiri Writer Examines the Strategic Implications of China's Military Presence in Kashmir Region," April 19, 2011, Kashmiri Writer Examines the Strategic Implications of China's Military Presence in Kashmir Region.

[16] Timesofindia.com (India), May 12, 2011.

[17] Timesofindia.com (India), April 6, 2011.

[18] Timesofindia.com (India), April 6, 2011. Speaking about the Chinese-Pakistani threat to India from Pakistani Kashmir, Lt.-Gen. Parnaik said: "We hear many people today who are concerned about the complicity of the Chinese if there were to be hostilities between India and Pakistan."

[19] The News (Pakistan), October 29, 2010.

[20] Daily Times (Pakistan), May 13, 2011.

[21] Timesofindia.com (India), May 19, 2011.

[22] Onlinenews.com.pk (Pakistan), May 20, 2011.

[23] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[24] The Express Tribune (Pakistan), April 30, 2011.

[25] These missile tests are just a few among scores of such tests carried out by the Pakistani military in recent years.

[26] Daily Times (Pakistan), May 20, 2011.

[27] App.com.pk (Pakistan), May 11, 2011.

[28] App.com.pk (Pakistan), April 25, 2011.

[29] The News (Pakistan), May 19, 2011.

[30] Thefinancialdaily.com (Pakistan), May 13, 2011.

[31] Daily Times (Pakistan), April 28, 2011.

[32] Dawn.com (Pakistan), May 20, 2011.

[33] Dawn (Pakistan), May 20, 2011.

[34] Tribune.com.pk (Pakistan), May 18, 2011.

[35] The News (Pakistan), May 13, 2011.

[36] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), May 5, 2011. It should be noted that the news came just days after the May 2, 2011, Abbottabad operation by the U.S.

[37] The Pakistani military's realignment with China can be viewed in the context of a larger Pakistani strategy against the U.S. According to an April 28, 2011 report in The Express Tribune daily, several days prior to the Abbottabad operation, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir visited China. The visit was planned in the context of a Pakistan-China strategic dialogue via the countries' foreign ministries. The report added that "official sources [in Islamabad] confirmed that the foreign secretary's visit to China was prompted by the recent rise in tensions between Pakistan and the United States due to a series of events, including the Raymond Davis affair and a U.S. drone strike that killed dozens of civilians in Pakistan's tribal districts." The report also noted that Salman Bashir was a "strong advocate of seeking realignments, and has presented a detailed analysis to the government regarding a reduction in dependence on the U.S. by reaching out to the Chinese."

[38] Dnaindia.com (India), May 20, 2011.

[39] Indiablooms.com (India), May 15, 2011.

[40] Hindustantimes.com (India), May 12, 2011.

[41] Indiatoday.in (India), May 19, 2011.

[42] Tolonews.com (Afghanistan), April 19, 2011.

[43] Khedmatgar Wrazpanra (Afghanistan), April 30, 2011.

[44] Shamshadtv.tv (Afghanistan), April 30, 2011.

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