Xi’s GSI and China-Pakistan Military Cooperation By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative (GSI) has become a hot topic in the global media.

It has disseminated a sense of partnership, protection and prosperity among all the regional countries, especially China’s allies around the globe. Unfortunately, it has also rattled important capitals in the world.

The US, EU, Australia, India and even Japan’s constant provocations on the complex and complicated issues of South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Asia NATO and drastic change in Indo-Pacific policies have alarmed China and its defence policy strategists and they are also trying to counterbalance these imperialistic policies and designs through persuasion of peaceful GSI in the region and beyond.

Nevertheless, the GSI stands for self-respect, self-reliance, economic independence, South-South Dialogue, mutual respect of sovereignty and last but not least, territorial integration through collective wisdom, unconditional economic cooperation, befitting propositions of investment, defense cooperation and sustainable development.

Thus Western propaganda does not have any sway in this regard because it is not the culmination of any imperialistic designs.

Most recently, while talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Chinese president Xi assured Beijing’s support to Moscow on “sovereignty and security”.

Xi upheld that China is willing to continue to offer mutual support (to Russia) on issues concerning core interests and major concerns such as sovereignty and security.

It seems that somehow, the Europeans have trapped into their own proxy doctrine in Ukraine, at Washington’s initiative, in a move contrary to their interests as Russian gas consumers.

However, some sanity has now prevailed on the political front and Germany, Italy and many other EU countries have started gas contracts with Russia.

China and Russia have stepped up cooperation in recent years as a counterbalance to what they see as US global dominance.

In this context, during the 19th “Shangri-La Dialogue’ in Singapore the Chinese top military leadership warned all movers and shakers of power politics to stay away from Taiwan and not play with fire because it would not hesitate to fight anyone who dares to separate the island of Taiwan from China.

China’s State Councillor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe warned US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin of serious repercussions and consequences of Taiwan misadventure of the West.

The US and its regional allies have been propagating China as a serious threat to regional peace and stability, due to which the US and its strategic partners have been building an iron curtain between China and other Asian countries and to implement its “Indo-Pacific Strategy” by rallying allies; however, China has now shown strong resolve, retaliation and commitment to deal with these wrong motions, notorious designs and military signalling of the US & the West towards Taiwan.

It seems that even Japan is now using the Russia-Ukraine conflict to strengthen its military cooperation with NATO, and trying to channel NATO’s influence into the Asia-Pacific region or promote the establishment of a NATO-like military alliance in the region, and such ill-intended plans actually hijacked regional peace and stability to serve its ambition of strengthening its military power, containing China with a military alliance and getting rid of the constraints of its Pacifist Constitution.

The US must view China’s development and growth rationally and stop smearing or suppressing China, he said, urging Washington not to interfere in China’s internal affairs or harm its interests.

He upheld that Taiwan belonged to China and the one-China principle was the political foundation for China-US relations and warned that attempts at “using Taiwan to contain China” are doomed to fail.

He termed that the U.S.’s recent approval of a $120-million arms sale to Taiwan as dangerous would seriously harm China’s sovereignty and security interests and that China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it.

However, he agreed to maintain high-level strategic communication, strengthen bilateral strategic mutual trust, properly manage their differences and disputes and prevent their differences and disputes from escalating into conflict and confrontation.

Moreover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to eight Pacific Island countries including the Solomon Islands started another blame-game in the region.

Most of the anti-China countries termed it as China’s extended military cooperation. The Chinese Foreign Minister visited Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

That is why the US labelled it as Chinese integrated military strategy in the Asia Pacific region.

However, the US remarks are (PICs) countries Island Pacific with agreement cooperation China’s that opaque and do not square with facts, but only expose the US bullying practice of projecting its own image and imposing its own will onto others.

Wang’s trip covered cooperation and deals in many fields including economy, infrastructure, climate change, public health, policing and security.

All the regional Islands welcomed the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit which could promote the livelihood of the locals and activate the economic potential of those islands.

However, some Western media have termed it a new Cold War’ between China and the West in the region.

The United States, which earlier raised concern about the security pact between China and Solomon Islands, warned South Pacific nations to be wary of “shadowy” agreements with China which has put forth a package to expand cooperation dramatically.

Interestingly, a high-powered Pakistani delegation comprising senior military officials from all three services – Army, Navy and Air Force – visited China and participated in the Pakistan-China Joint Military Cooperation Committee (PCJMCC), which has an apex committee.

Pakistan’s Army chief and Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission are part of the committee.

Both countries are iron-clad friends. As tension between China and the West deepens, military leadership of China and Pakistan have further strengthened their strategic partnership in the challenging geopolitical and geostrategic times.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa joined the tri-service military delegation and attended the apex committee’s meeting along with the top Chinese Generals.

It dissimilated an important message to the world because tension is deepening between China and the United States.

Pakistan has also faced significant pressure from the West to change its stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Islamabad has so far walked a tightrope even after the change of government. A statement issued by the ISPR, on Sunday, said the tri-service delegation held wide ranging discussions with senior officials of the Chinese military and other government departments.

Both sides discussed their perspectives on international and regional security situation and expressed satisfaction on defence cooperation between the two countries, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Both sides also expressed their determination to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at tri-service level.

To conclude, it seems that military doctrine is on the move in which military diplomacy and military to military cooperation has assumed greater significance in view of the fast changing developments.

There is an urgent need to showcase the real significance of the Xi GSI and initiate integrated efforts to protect our collective vested interests of geo-economy and geopolitics alike.

—The writer is Director, the Centre for South Asia & International Studies Islamabad & regional expert, China, CPEC & BRI.​

Source: Published in Pak Observer

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