Let’s Not Ignore China

by Joshua Foust on 12/13/2008

Eighteen months ago, I noted the curious possibility of China playing a role in the Lal Masjid debacle. In short, before the mosque crisis, which resulted in the cancellation of a cease-fire in the FATA and a lot of dead madrassa students, militants had kidnapped several Chinese workers, and the Chinese government applied pressure on Pervez Musharraf to take decisive action against the mosque where the militants came from.

Now, the Daily Times is arguing that China, and not the U.S., is again responsible for Pakistan taking decisive action against the militants. Where such influence peddling might ultimately go is unclear—China is rather opaque about its ultimate intentions. As one example, look at some of the machinations behind the UNSC declaration of LeT as a terrorist organization:

India also sought to have the UN committee include on the list Hamid Gul, a retired Pakistani Army general who headed the country’s main intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, in the late 1980s. However, China, a close ally of Pakistan that has veto power on the Security Council, apparently blocked Mr. Gul’s inclusion.

Gul, a harsh critic of the US, insists that he has no connections to any extremist groups.

He’s not just a harsh critic, but an open supporter of the Taliban. Regardless, no clearer picture of the U.S.’s decline in the region can be taken, making the South Asian Nexus even more important than we believed before… especially as we consider the role of India in both Afghanistan, and China’s intentions for the region.

This comes courtesy Myra McDonald’s excellent blog at Reuters, which is worth reading daily.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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