When it comes to economic breadth and technology innovation, the Unites States is clearly the winner.
The incredible US historical credentials across all disciplines have allowed it to dominate the world.
It is instilled in the Americans’ DNA that they are a nation, which is hard to match and impossible to beat.
If there is one nation-state that has somewhat challenged the decades-old global US dominance, it is China.
Over the past twenty years, China has grown into a substantial international economic powerhouse. It has also made great strides towards military and technology advancements over the last twenty years.
But being the world’s largest populated country and the biggest market, China needs a consistent and strong economic growth to remain stable. In enactment to its economic stability, China is pursuing a grand plan – Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative (BRI).
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a blend of land-based ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and oceangoing ‘Maritime Silk Road’, which focuses primarily the connectivity and cooperation between China and the rest of Eurasia.
The initiative aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links between China and 65 other countries that collectively account for more than 30% of the global GDP, 62% of the population, and 75% of the unknown energy reserves.
On land, B&R centers to develop China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors and at sea, the initiative plans to build a smooth, secure, and efficient trade route by connecting the major seaports through China-Pakistan and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridors.
As of 2018, China has effectively promoted China-Pakistan and China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridors and has also succeeded to make, China-Laos Railway, Sino-Thai Railway, Yawan High-Speed Railway and the Hungarian Railway, China-Belarus Industrial Park, and Egyptian Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, the part of B&R initiative.
In addition, the model of industrial cooperation, the port of Hambantuta in Sri Lanka, and the port of Piraeus in Greece are running smoothly whereas Central Europe has accumulated more than 10,000 trains to reach 43 cities in 15 European countries.
The trade volume between China and the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increased 16.3% to about $1.3 trillion in 2018, said Belt and Road Portal citing Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
China’s exports to BRI countries rose 10.9% to $704.7 billion as compared to 23.9% growth in imports of $563.1 billion from them.
Last year, the country’s firms invested $15.6 billion in non-financial sectors of B&R countries – an increase of 8.9% – while the country received 11.9% more investments worth of $6.1 billion from them.
CPEC is the landmark project of Belt and Road, which has attracted the largest investment in the annals of history of Pakistan. It is also the largest-ever Chinese foreign investment in any single foreign country.
The CPEC has a strategic importance as well. The Chinese are not just offering to build much-needed infrastructure but also make Pakistan a key partner in its grand economic and strategic ambitions, the guardian wrote at signing of the CPEC.
United States considers Belt and Road a peril to its global supremacy, through which China is trying to strengthen its economic and strategic footprints worldwide and CPEC provides the terrain to achieve China’s global dominance ambitions.
So, in order to contain China’s rising influence and to ensure its hegemony – the US once again is relying on Pakistan but to its infuriation, both China and Pakistan share historic rapport. On the other hand, Pakistan is not in a position to help the US as the $60 billion CPEC offers enormous potential to boost Pakistan’s deteriorating economy, reducing poverty, spread benefits widely, and help those likely to be affected by the new trade route, says ADP report.
As the likelihoods of conventional warfare dry up in modern days; the United States is now deeply converging onto another type of feud – Hybrid War – to impede China’s blooming marches, the fulcrum of which is CPEC, Gwadar in Balochistan, or the land of Pakistan.
Hybrid War is used as a catchphrase to describe a non-linear or non-traditional warfare which strategizes to destabilize an opponent by clandestine maneuvers such as political disruption, economic subversion, propaganda campaigns (including social media), and cyber assaults in addition to employing conventional warfare tactics.
Delving the depths of cloak-and-dagger activities, nearly all components of hybrid war are deployed toward Pakistan on the back of its increasing geopolitical importance – which serves as the ‘Zipper’ to the Eurasian integration. The ultimate target explicitly is the Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile – the cornerstone of its national security.
Several external factors, with the help of some domestic political and social elements, are running propaganda campaigns to dent core national security interests of Pakistan. People, especially from the deprived zones, are incited against the national security institutions, hoping to harvest a political-military conflict.
Economic cataclysm is also an important component of irregular warfare which has unfortunately miffed the Pakistan’s economy. The combination of these internal and external elements has purposely restrained the country’s economy to grow.
The menaces of outspread corruption, bad governance, illegal money transfers, nepotism, and marginalization of youth have not only substantially paled the Pakistan’s economy but also relayed US and UK an opportunity to place Pakistan on FATF grey-list.
On the global front, Pakistan’s frenemy – the United Sates – has also beckoned to maim the vulnerable economy by influencing IMF, in case Pakistan decides to solicit a bail-out package from international financial institution.
Unarguably India and Pakistan are inevitable foes but as the New Cold War begins in the backcloth of Sino-US trade conflicts and strategic disputes in South China Sea; Pakistan is taking the toll for championing its unprecedented friend, China.
The devised Indo-US strategic partnership is the secret endeavor or the hybrid assault to contain Pakistan by fanning ‘ethno-regional identity conflicts’ – supported by Indian-backed terrorist activities in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan and terrorist attacks from Afghanistan – alongside developing India into a military might against China.
The United States had also offered India its Patriot air defense system (PAC-3) to shift the balance of power in favor of India as the system is capable of intercepting enemy’s tactical and cruise missiles and aircrafts.
However India annoyed the United States by going for five-battery Russian S-400 Triumf for $6 billion, which embraces the same capability as does the PAC-3. Both the American and Russian air defense systems carry high price tags.
India will be deploying these systems alongside China and Pakistan borders. Although it will stance serious intimidations to Pakistan’s national security, however Pakistan’s all-weather ally, China, has already bought S-400 which can deployed to shield either of them.
Israel is also accompanying India to posing hybrid threats and causing unrest in Pakistan. India is also the largest Israeli arms buyer. With the help of Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAS), India is developing short-range and long-range surface-to-air (SAM) missile systems (SAM).
Azriel Bermant – research fellow at National Security Studies, Tel Aviv – opined that Pakistan might be a real nuclear threat to the United States and Israel, instead of Iran and North Korea. The republication of his adversarial analysis could just be a tip of the iceberg, steering at hybrid war on Pakistan.
While the activities of the US navy in South China Sea drive to repress China’s influence, Indian naval presence on Chabahar port in Iran and Duqm port in Oman can target China, Pakistan, and their central CPEC project.
It is due to this Indo-US strategic naval fusion which has goaded China and Pakistan to shore up their naval collaboration and expand maritime surveillance and security in the Indian Ocean to deal with the US proxy, India.
In the newest concept of hybrid war, the United States and India are manipulating the mainstream media to impair the international reputation of Pakistan; implementing a series of disinformation programs, hypothetical analysis, and odious Op-eds.
They oscillate the western minds that Pakistan is a land of terrorism and poverty to prevent the country’s potential CPEC linked growth – awaited by connecting the economies of European Union, China, Iran, and SAARC.
The media onslaught on Pakistan army and its intelligence service – ISI – is the key gambit of Indo-US hybrid ‘shelling’ on Pakistan to malevolently obscure the country’s remarkable achievements in war on terror.
It is evident that the United States has distinctly reformed its regional strategy to live off India against China and Pakistan but the christened superficial alliance is doomed to collapse because of India’s inability to play a key role in the mixt geopolitics, according to Chinesed state-controlled media.