21 Nov 17/Tuesday.

China is not a simple communist country. It is a capitalist country when it comes to dealing with other countries and towards their own people act as a communist country. They are ruthless and totally think business or akin to Lalas of India. For them the national goal is supreme. Recently the Dhoklam incident gives us the complete picture. When seen from the perspective of Chinese it was not good for their economy which was losing steam to drive Indian forces. Moreover, overwhelming support to Indian government garnered from all the dominant western powers shooed Chinese out and forced them to withdraw. This shows us clearly that Chinese will not be of help to Pakistan and they will have to fend for themselves in case of any future conflicts with any country especially India on its eastern front.  The Chinese also did not mince their words when leaving out Pakistan to defend itself in UNGA when India attacked Pakistan on its outlook on terror.

Chinese have been selling Coal-Fired Power Projects with used boilers to Pakistan to reduce their own carbon footprint. Chinese are planning to set up some 19 energy plants in Pakistan as part of CPEC. A total of 20 billion to be spent on 19 energy projects i.e. coal-fired and renewable power plants, and transmission lines, among other infrastructure. It is believed that the Chinese have ulterior motives in funding the unsustainable outdated coal projects in Pakistan. The energy generated will be supplied to Pakistanis at a hefty charge and the same is in news all around in Pakistani media. The secondary effect of these coal plants which will energize the roads and region around CPEC for the security of CPEC is that it will pollute the Pakistani climate to such an extent that it will become a world leader in carbon footprint. Being a communist country the Chinese were to treat Pakistan on equal terms however the same is not true. The corruption in Pakistan has infected all establishments and the same is being exploited by Chinese Industry. Due to which the Chinese and Pakistan governments are keeping a lid on the entire pack under wraps. This is very evident from the fact all the operators including contractors and workforce working on the project is from China. Only the security force employed for protection duties is from Pakistan. Thus, there is no skill development while the multi-Billion dollar project is being built on the Pakistani soil.

In return for full cooperation with China in CPEC and surrendering its defense completely what the Pakistanis got is debt overburden and a cunning friend. As far as Military Research and Developmental help given out is we can say the Chinese are dolling out only those outdated technologies which they have already discarded. We may say they Chinese helped Pakistan in developing JF-17 used by Pakistani Air Force but is not in service in Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It is just a replacement for older aircraft such as Mirage III and Mirage V fighters or just another upgrade of MIG-21 aircraft. This is the status of Pakistan in front of Chinese. Chinese are also refusing to part with J-20 stealth aircraft recently inducted into its Airforce.

The Pakistani Military leadership has been keeping the Indians busy on their western front by asking Pakistani army and Rangers to initiate low-intensity conflict in Indian territory. Thus, ensuring that the two neighbors are busy bleeding each other while Chinese conduct their business as usual without spending a penny. It is to be seen who has more to gain by bleeding India, it is China as it has more to lose if Indians get more powerful and influential in the region. This will make the US to lean on India and force China out of the equation. It can be clearly seen in the formation of Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral where China is excluded in spite of having formidable presence and stake in the Pacific Ocean. Thus understanding the real intent of Chinese leading countries like US, Japan, Australia, and India have tried to indicate to China that they can and will outcast China if required by forming various forums.

There is a large section of government officials who believe that Pakistan is getting increasingly unequal treatment in CPEC. The recent development being Pakistan refusing use of Yuan (Chinese Currency) to be used in Pakistan. “Use of yuan for common use in any part of Pakistan or exchangeable like dollar has to be on a reciprocal basis,” said Pakistani government official. Pakistani officials recently concluded CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) stressed that Chinese officials were disappointed on this move from the Pakistani side.

All these facts show that Chinese are no true friends of anyone. They have just interests in Pakistan and no particular liking to Pakistanis or any other people in the region. It is up to the people of Pakistan to question their government which is much under the influence of Pakistani Army as the world is looking at them with a formidable unanswered question, “Can you outsmart the Chinese?”. The answer of each Pakistani citizen will in future be responsible for the long-term well-being of a strong Pakistan as a nation.

The author is pursuing research in Financial audits from Lahore.

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