China

CHINESE FEAR LINKED TO CPEC

23 Oct 17/Monday

Chinese Embassy said a member of a banned terrorist group has sneaked into Pakistan to assassinate the envoy. The letter was written by the focal person for the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Ping Ying Fi. Fi asked the interior ministry to “enhance the protection” of the ambassador and other Chinese working in the country.Earlier in Pakistan, three Chinese workers were assassinated in Peshawar in 2007, while Al Qaeda’s regional franchise, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed a Chinese engineer in a 2009 ambush. Four Chinese  engineers were killed during 2016; two in a roadside blast in September and another two Chinese engineers were killed by unidentified assailants in November in Pasni. In March 2012, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for killing of a Chinese woman, saying it was in revenge for China’s killing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.  The Chinese woman was shot in a market in Peshawar, along with a Pakistani national. In June 2013, Pakistani militants dressed in Gilgit Scouts uniforms killed 10 climbers (including two Chinese nationals – Chunfeng Yang and Jianfeng Rao) and a local guide in area of Nanga Parbat. The killings were claimed by TTP

Viewpoint

China has scaled massive cultural invasion in Pakistan to facilitate the CPEC.The killing of Chinese nationals Lee Zingyang (24) and Meng Lisi (26) in Pakistan post abduction from Quetta, capital of Balochistan, on May 24 was hardly a stray incident. Had the killings not been announced by the Islamic State, Beijing and Islamabad would have suppressed the news. According to Zaidi, Senator Tahir Mashhadi (former Lt Col of Pak army) and presently Chairman of the Standing Committee on Planning and Development, Pakistan, describes the CPEC corridor as the advent of “another East India Company in the offing.” Presently there are some 4,00,000 Chinese nationals pan-Pakistan, including 25,000 in Islamabad alone.In Pakistan, some 8000 children are learning Mandarin with 20,000 Chinese expats expected in Pakistan over the next five years. Providing security to Chinese nationals in such large numbers is not going to be easy, even as China may encourage more and more Chinese girls to marry Pakistanis. Significantly, Chinese nationals have also been arrested for cyber crimes among others, though these reports are suppressed. However, the Chinese public can’t be fooled as in yesteryears despite the media control and propaganda. And, this will become more and more difficult with more Chinese targeted in future which appears inevitable. Given the ethno-religious rivalries in Xinjiang and Pakistan, coupled with booming Wahabism in the Pakistan, how radicalized Pakistan will respond to this cultural invasion may hold surprises for China. Other significant factors are economy, employment and finances. China’s BRI, and its flagship CPEC is nothing but debt instrument that can and will drive Pakistan towards bankruptcy. Publication of China’s CPEC Master Plan in the ‘Dawn’ should have rung alarm bells in not only in Pakistan but also Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Beijing knows there is a serious ethno-religious-radical Islam problem in the region. The ISIS is consolidating in Af-Pak and the Al Qaeda-ETIM have their designs for Xinjiang. Besides, thousands of Uighurs fighting in Syria-Iraq yearn for Han blood when they revert home.China, in conjunction Pakistan, hopes to divert this collusive radicalized mass to Afghanistan and India, which is serious miscalculation. But the gravest error of Xi Jinping is in hoping that China’s BRI-OBOR-CPEC will replace the dollar with the Yuan without any retaliation. Pakistan is riding a tiger it cannot handle. China will learn that lesson soon.

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