- China has demanded the Pakistani administration to create an outpost for its military in the country
- China and Pakistan are at loggerheads with each other in the wake of Chinese companies not being met with their debt obligations
- If things do not change in the near future, then the demography of modern-day Pakistan will be totally different in the upcoming decades
China’s foothold in Pakistan has often been termed by experts as “an experimental lab of China’s neo-Colonial policies”. The decade long prediction seems to have materialised now. The Communist nation has left the terrorist nation with one of the two tough choices to make.
China wants its military in Pakistan
According to a news18 report, China has demanded Pakistan to make arrangements for its military outpost in the country. The latest order by the Chinese government came in the wake of a Burqa clad Baloch woman bombing a van near Pakistan’s Confucius Institute, killing three teachers in the process. The woman was a suicide bomber, who is believed to be a civilian who sacrificed her life for Majeed Brigade which is having affiliation with Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).
The fact that the average Balochi is up in arms against China’s CPEC in the region sent tremors down the Chinese administration. Reminding Pakistan of its history of providing outposts to the United States and other countries during the Cold War, it has also asked for similar treatment. Apparently, fearing for their lives, 12 teachers who were in the region with 3 deceased ones have left for China.
China has invested heavily in Balochistan
Though the latest demand by China looks to be a decision made while throwing a hissy fit, their demands are not unfair if we consider the fact that they have made huge investments in Pakistan. Currently, just the unpaid dues of more than two dozen Chinese firms run in the range of 300 billion Pakistani rupees, and they have threatened to shut their power plants down unless they are not paid.
According to a news18 report, Bostan Industrial Zone (Special Economic Zone, SEZ) near Quetta, Balochistan; Chaman district of Balochistan bordering Afghanistan; Gwadar Port, Specially Zone-I & Zone-II; some patrolling units on CPEC’s western alignment which covers hostile areas of Balochistan like Awaran, Khuzdar, Hoshab and Turbat areas; Mohmand Marble City (SEZ) near Mohmand Agency bordering Afghanistan and Sost Dry-Port & Moqpondass Special Economic Zone in the Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan are the major Chinese projects running in Pakistan.
Baloch rebels are hampering Chinese interests left, right and centre
However, the Chinese intervention in the region was never accepted by the rebels of Baloch. They have two contentions issues. Firstly, they do not consider themselves to be a part of Pakistani territory, and secondly, they know that China will only help strengthen Pakistan’s forced occupation of the province. The BLA claims that they are being forced out of their ancestral land due to this project, without proper rehabilitation.
BLA and the other Baloch nationalists have been extremely offensive towards China, especially to its officials involved in the projects. As reported by TFI on numerous occasions, they have either delayed the projects or forced the Chinese officials to flee, leaving the projects in tatters.
China and Pakistan are at loggerheads
Adding insult to the injury, Pakistan’s new government under Shehbaz Sharif had recently ordered to scrap the CPEC Authority established in 2019 to boost the projects decided under the CPEC cooperation. In a process to abolish the CPEC Authority, the planning minister had said that it was a redundant organisation that wasted resources and thwarted the speedy implementation of the ambitious regional connectivity program.
Frustrated by constant interventions, last week China finally decided to take matters into its own hands. It sent an ultimatum to Pakistan to shut down power in CPEC projects.
Pakistan may become a hub of the Han Chinese
It’s in this context that China’s demand to get its military in Pakistan should be looked into. On one hand, the Pakistani state is trapped in the debt-trap diplomacy of China, while on the other hand, the Chinese administration is constantly reminding them that they do not have trust in the Pakistani security apparatus.
The pressure is mounting in Pakistan. The country does not have any legitimacy in international financial institutions. It is running from pillar to post trying to save itself from the debt trap. Basically, its economic sovereignty has already taken an unrecoverable and crippling hit. Now, China has put Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty in danger. Don’t be surprised if Pakistan becomes a hub of Han Chinese in the 2030s.