China to the rescue?


This article today will take issue with the entire notion of China being an “all weather” ally and will try to highlight some of the important things Pak-China dosti promoters fail to mention. This is in no way implying that we should cut off our ties with China but merely emphasizing on how we should be cautious to remember that everyone is looking out for their own interest and there is no such thing as an unconditional alliance.

A very simple example of that conditional alliance would be that USA and USSR were allies in World War II because it served their purpose. Neither of them wanted Germany to take over the world. However, after the war, both these countries continued with their conflicts and hostilities.

Coming back to China, because of the deteriorating relation between Pakistan and America, people are looking at China as the saviour.  Our leaders have used the china angle for leverage for years.  When we negotiate with US we have this tone where we keenly suggest that if US does not help us in ways we want, we will ask China, our true friend, for help.  Our true friend will bend over backwards and fight the US for our interests. A few days back I saw a cartoon character appearing in a renowned national newspaper showing a Chinese man holding a pistol behind the American telling him to keep his hands off another guy who was shown as Pakistani.

Contrary to popular belief, I think it is important to note that China has provided very limited economic aid to Pakistan. Much of it has mainly been infrastructural aid or business investment to Pakistan and most of this aid suits China’s national interests or goals. Daniel Wagner in his article mentions that “While the U.S. has given as much as more than $2 billion in a single year in economic and military aid to Pakistan (peaking in the early 1960s), China’s cumulative bilateral assistance to Pakistan between 2004 and 2009 totaled just $217 million (an average of $36 million per year), and was often driven by disaster relief”.

Actually, I would like to use this sentence out of General Musharraf’s interview to Fareed Zakaria on CNN here, to reflect on my opinion on the above aid figures provided to Pakistan by China.

A bitter fact of the matter is that Chinese aid is driven by a hunger for natural resources.  An article published in Guardian mentions that critics say that a majority of concessional loans provided by china, have gone towards the construction of transportation, communications and electricity infrastructure, while less than 9% has gone towards the development of energy and resources such as oil and minerals. This is very much in contrast to USAID program packages that that focus on subjects ranging from poverty health and education. In addition, China has been investing in securing much of the natural resources around the globe.

Another big reason for that is that we hope China will help us in any conflict with India. It also appeals to the anti-India lot amongst us however, while sympathetic to Pakistan and having an antagonistic relationship with India, China did not do more than offer words and little military assistance to Pakistan in its wars with India.  China has always kept a clear vision of what it wants with Pakistan playing us on our anti-India sentiments to keep India at bay, the next big emerging power in the sub-continent region. My simple question is this: where was China in 1965 war? Or in the 1971 war when we so desperately needed a friend to watch our back for us?

Finally, an important thing to mention here while we’re comparing US-Pak and China-Pak relationship is the number of Pakistanis living in both these countries.  According to 2006 There are roughly 700,000 thousand Pakistanis living in the US while less than half of this number are in China, the worlds most populated country. Huge amount of remittances also exist which flow from US to Pakistan, aiding our ailing economy whereas such is not the case with China.

Pakistan also has cultural ties with US that obviously China does not.  Our mainstream media has western/American-influenced songs, clothes, cars and almost everything in the daily walk of life.  We can certainly not say that about China. How many parents are willing to send their children for higher education to China instead of US?

These are some of the questions that we need to ask ourselves and come to a rational conclusion.


Author: Mukhtar Ahmed


  1. No country can rescue other country, aj kal koi apni jaan ke bazi nahi lagata.

    China jitni madad ker sekta kerta hai, raazdari say foji madad bhi kerta hai. humain aisi madad bhi konsa koi taklif deti hay.

    Iran, Iraq, Taliban, Alqaida, Syria, Libiya, Afghanistan per hamlay howay kia kisi Muslim country nay madad ke? han takriban her achay muslim country nay taliban wagera ko support kea raazdari say ya ehtijaj say, jiske misal Osama Abbotabad main rakha gaya. Laiken kisi muslims country nay zahri madad nahi ke jesay apni foj bhej ker, kion kay sab ko apni bhi parwah hay.

    isi terha chinese radars Pakistan ke khufyah madad kertay hain, laiken iska yeh matlab nahi china apni foj pak-india borders per Pakistan ke hafazat kay liyay khardi ker day.

    waisay apke post ka maqsad zara mukhtalif hay kay humain pak china friendship per ghor kerna chahiyay aur apke batain sachi hain aur main nay apnay views diyay.

    aur mujhay bohat pasand i, main chahta hon aisi koi cheez ho Pakistanio ko aqal denay kay liyay jo suni sunai baton per yakin kertay hain aur galian detay chal bantay hain.

    • Bohat shukriya Aaqil sahab.

      Darasal iss mazmoon ka maqsad is baat ki taraf nishandahi karna tha ke China beishak humara dost mulk hai leikin iska ye matlab nahi ke iss dosti kay peechay koi maqsad he nahi hai. Hur mulk apnay maqsad kay tehat maddad karta hai aur is kay baraks sochna ya samajhna meiri nazar mei aik ghalati hogi.

      Jaisay ke ap nay farmaya, Chinese radars Pakistan ki maddad zaroor karty hain leikin iss bat ko behtar samjhnay kay liye humain China aur India kay taluqqat par bhi nazar sani karni hogi. Ye dono mumalik iss khittay ki baree economic powers hain aur ye kehna meiri nazar mei munasib hoga ke China nay kai moqon par humaray anti-India sentiment ko bakhoobi istimal kiya hai.. Iss kay liye mazeed details mei jana iss reply mei munasib nahi hoga. Moqa milla toh mei uss par bhi aik nazar-e-sani zaroor karonga.

      Once again, thank you for the feed back.

  2. If You guys see it rom a neutral point of you, u can see that all the aid from china is nothing more than to a ploy to Pakistan against India and nothing more.

    Using pakistan china can sleep peacefully at night and remain focused on the US presence in the Yellow sea.

    China’s cumulative bilateral assistance to Pakistan between 2004 and 2009 totaled just $217 million

    recently US stoped the Aid of 800M $ , now we will certainly get to see the truth of China

    Pakistan will receive 50 JF-17 from china, but it is purely a Trade not aid, all military deals between china and Pak have been deals and no have been.

    So it will a True test of friendship in the coming weeks
    Lets wait and see what happens.

    Cheers from Kuwait !!!!

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