N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: On July 27, 2020, last year China had organized a webinar of some South Asian countries that included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal-the core friends of China presumably which was chaired by Wang Yi-the Chinese foreign minister.
Notably, China has the Observer status in the PM Modi killed SAARC regional body.
The July 27 webinar was thus a mini SAARC conference led by Observer China.
That time it had become a matter of intense debate as to why China missed Bangladesh in the said webinar that was, for sure, dominated by the structured theories of the Chinese side as usual.
Bangladesh’s non-inclusion in the July webinar could have been a Chinese “wait and see” schema to ascertain whether Dhaka was close to Beijing or still Delhi counted much for a country that had in effect were the creation of the Indian regime as back as in 1971.
It was so because of late, Dhaka appears to have inched much closer to Beijing.
In addition, Dhaka is now a Belt and Road partner of Beijing.
It is gratifying to note that the so called freedom fighters who fought for the emergence of the new Country-Bangladesh with the direct support of the Indian Army (under cover of Jan Mukti Bahini/Sena) admit that India supported them all to fight against Pakistan but now the same set of freedom fighters lament that the Indian spy agency-the RAW is twisting the arms of the Dhaka regime.
They say that Dhaka is infested more by the RAW deadly virus than any other neighboring capitals like Islamabad, Kathmandu and Colombo.
A section in Nepal believes that RAW paid and posted agents even capture Nepal’s parliament and the mainstream media which is why Nepali legislature is being logically taken as an extension of the Indian Parliament.
Thanks the “revolutionary change” of 2005-6 that ensured and secured the Indian dominance in Nepal thus causing permanent strains in Bejing political quarters.
It was this India designed and sponsored “Revolution” which eased the planned influx of the “India trained and indoctrinated” thug Nepali Maoists to enter Nepal and then to capture politics with the tacit support of yet another India hand in Nepal-Girija Prasad Koirala (late).
Late Koirala will go a long way in Nepali history as Nepali version of Sikkim’s Lendhup Dorje who ensured the Sikkimi fusion in the Indian Union.
Needless to say, many a former UML Communists are learnt to have been funded by the neighboring enemy nation-India.
For this scribe, the political change of 2005-6 guaranteed that India is the nearest and foulest enemy for Nepal and that many Nepali nationals were in the payroll of the Indian regime to ensure the ultimate annexation of Nepal into the nation of the former slaves-which India was and still is.
China is in delusion that Nepal is Beijing’s darling. China thus is advised to get out from this phantasm and get to understand the fact that the Communists were the brainchild of the Indian regime and that the thugs were planted by the enemy nation to act against the US and China respectively.
The US too is in illusion in that the MCC-the US project, rests under the mercy of the Indian agents in Nepal whose parliamentary endorsement depends on the whims of the RAW men who at the moment were in “service” of the Nepal government.
To simplify the knot, the US project is subject to confirmation if and when RAW gives nod to the project.
Chances are fair that the RAW will willingly yield to the US MCC project as India and the US are currently in the same block called the Quad of which the US has designated India as the boss to control entire South Asian region.
It is this US-India nexus that has irked and has been pinching the Chinese regime and to blunt the impact of the increasing India-US proximity, China has done many Himalayan efforts in the meanwhile to take Nepal out from the US-India nexus.
However, the RAW factor (closed envelope magic both at leadership and the media level) distances Kathmandu with Beijing that provides an edge for the US in Kathmandu.
Remarkably, the mini China in Kathmandu takes the RAW agents as men with Beijing bend. It is here Beijing gets defeated by the RAW in Kathmandu and the process goes on and on.
Mind it, Nepal as a country would wish to expand its ties with the US on bilateral basis and would so wish to go along with the US sans the Indian component.
All in all, Nepali people love to enhance bilateral ties with the US.
The US is being misguided by the Indian officials.
At the bilateral level, Nepal just received a lump sum amount of huge money from the US. This explains our sound ties with the US.
Back to the topic again:
The March 18 Alaska meet of the US and the Chinese officials jolted both the countries which encouraged them both to devise schemes to proceed ahead which could provide the countries concerned to garner support from other countries in its favor.
What the US did in the meantime after the Alaska debacle is not known, however, the Chinese diplomats began touring various countries near and far and also arranging meets with foreign ministers in order to build pressure on the US.
Notably, after the March Alaska meet, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi met the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in March itself at a small Chinese city called Guilin wherein the two powerful foreign ministers said that they “shared the view that all countries should follow the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), uphold true multilateralism, make international relations more democratic, and accept and promote peaceful coexistence and common development of countries with different social systems and development paths”.
It was in response to what had been said by the US to China in Alaska meet.
In Alaska, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had made strong complaints against China by taking up the issue such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong and Chinese threats against Taiwan and Chinese economic pressure against countries like Australia.
In addition, on March 25 the US President Biden had assured the world community that he would not allow China to become the leading country in the world.
China took Biden’s pledge seriously.
The Russian-China joint statement was a rejoinder to the US hinting the lone super power not to impose its structured policies on democracy on others who possess differing political systems.
The joint statement could be seen as a collective response of the Russian and the Chinese foreign ministers to the US.
This does then mean that Russia and the Chinese are on the same page at the moment. Both have been seducing Pakistan to join their “anti-US” team.
This is problematic for the US presumably for a variety of political reasons.
Ambassador Robert Ford who had been watching the political overtures taken by the US and China wrote in his article on “Chinese Diplomatic Gains against America” dated March 31, 2021 quoting Yang Jiechi as saying that “Washington should stop its interventions to change regimes, and fix its own human rights failures, for example the problems with America’s black communities”.
Perhaps he was referring to some incidents in the US that have gone against the Black Americans in the recent years and decades.
Even in the recent months, the Asian-Americans have become the targets of some in the US. This is scary indeed.
Robert Ford is a former US ambassador to Syria and Algeria and concurrently a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute for Near East Policy in Washington.
His article “Washington Losing Ground in the United States-China-Russia Geopolitical Triangle” was first published in Asharq-Al-Awsat, a leading academic voice in Middle Eastern affairs.
Both President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Blinken strongly believe America’s defense of human rights and democracy is vital to American legitimacy in the world.
The Russians and the Chinese differ sharply to this US rigid stance.
After the Russian and Chinese meet in Guilin city, the Chinese foreign minister set his foot prints in the Middle East where Sergei Lavrov had already visited. (Pakistan FM followed immediately after Wang and Lavrov visit to the Middle East countries).
This does mean that both Russia and China prefer now to woo the former fast friends of the US in the Middle East in order to exploit from the differences that have cropped of late in between the Gulf countries and the new US Administration led by President Joe Biden.
To this pen analyst, it appears that “Beijing is hell bent on weakening and eventually diminishing the US’s alliances in the Middle East and South and Central Asia”.
The fresh webinar organized by China that included countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka intends to ensure China’s grand say in this part of the world which would automatically diminish the US clout in this region.
Undeniably, the Russian Federation too is along with China as the fresh hobnob of China and Russia suggests.
In the process, the Chinese Foreign Minister made a visible presence in the United Arab Emirates through “vaccine diplomacy” and with Iran by inking a huge deal worth billions and billions.
The much talked peace overtures made by the Saudi Prince MBS with arch enemy Iran does tell that China has brain washed both the Saudis and the Iranians and told Riyadh and Tehran both that “peace” could be built in between them.
Notably, the Saudis have talked of peace with arch rival Iran at a time when the US is at odds with the Saudis and Iran.
The general presumption is that it is Pakistan and the Chinese who are equally close to both the Saudis and Iranians may have brokered peace to weaken the influence of the US in the entire Middle East.
The US loss is China’s gain and vice versa.
Needless to say, Pakistan is adorable to both Iran and Saudia as PM Khan is all set to visit Saudia to make the MBS nation “clean and green” with his “plant billion trees in Pakistan” scheme becoming a grand success.
Inspired by PM Khan’s green revolution, the MBS has invited Khan to his country.
Having said all these the question comes first to one’s mind that “will Pakistan afford to drop friendship with its former Cold war ally-the US if and when encouraged by its new development partner that is China?
Needless to say, China has made extra efforts to develop Pakistan-its new ally and a great trading partner in the entire region through the much publicized China-Pakistan Economic Corridor-CPEC, but yet Pakistan must think twice on how to continue with its ties with the lone Super Power.
Albeit, for a brief period, the US have had some issues with Pakistan (some manufactured and some imposed through India) which had allowed “artificial” distance in between them.
But to the best of knowledge of the South Asian observers if Pakistan needs the US then the reverse is also true and the fact is that till the Afghanistan imbroglio remains neither the US nor Pakistan could afford to lose each other.
Regional security reasons compel them to cling to each other.
Apart from the Afghanistan issue, the US needs the Pakistani help in order to “balance” the South and the Central Asian region from the highhandedness of the South Asian bully.
Undoubtedly, Pakistan stands today not only as a fitting political and nuclear deterrent to the Indian hegemony but stands also as a powerful regional power which could “balance” the gravitational politics if and when emerging powers like Russia and China prefer to increase their influence in the region in and around Pakistan.
In case if the US, China, India and Russia begin taking “increased interest” in the countries of the Middle East/Gulf nations at a time and also concurrently wish to make their “strong” presence felt in the South Asian and the Central Asian nations then it could be only the Pakistani nation which could “as good and reliable friend” of the entire big and powerful nations subside gravitational push and pull thus averting the threat of a formidable war.
This speaks of the political importance and significance of the Islamic nation Pakistan at time when a daunting crisis like what has been presumed comes to true.
However, to contain the big power rivalry, Pakistan could play a significant role which needs a high political and diplomatic acumen that only PM Khan can exhibit through his simplicity and “friendly to all” attitude.
Bangladesh at the center:
A China that had excluded Bangladesh in its July 2020 Webinar for some “undisclosed” reasons included this country this April Webinar.
China, when ascertained that Dhaka greeted PM Modi this March with anti-India slogans concluded that it was high time to woo Bangladesh afresh which in its own way sent enough signals to both the US and India that Bangladesh would prefer to shift in Chinese orbit for some political and economic/trading benefits.
National interest matters first and foremost!
Coming of Pakistan and Bangladesh to its orbit, China has reasons to feel that its influence has increased considerably in South Asia.
What was common in the two webinars of last and this year was the presence of Nepal and Pakistan.
While Pakistan is a sure shot friend of China then Nepal which continues to play at the hand of the former British slaves is a “necessary evil” for China to make a stronghold in South Asia through Nepal.
It is this strategic location that makes Nepal so important to some big powers like the US, China, Russia and India obviously.
Pakistan which of late has emerged as a “regional power” has an immense role to play in the politics of South and the Central Asia plus the Middle East.
Pakistan at best could prove itself as a regional power that could act like a bridge in between the competing Super powers and the emerging super powers. It is time to act now.
Present US stance on China and Russia:
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, and the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, have called for a revitalized and broadened alliance of G7 nations determined to defend open societies and the rules-based order from the threats posed by the autocracies of China and Russia, writes Patrick Wintour and Vincent Ni dated May 3, 2021 for the Guardian.
The US and its allies take China and Russia to task on the crackdown on ethnic Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region and Russia’s poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.
The two top diplomats from the U.S, Antony Blinken and the U.K, Dominic Raab claim that Russia and China both have violated the global order and have pledged unity in what both nations call a priority: uniting democratic societies against autocratic ones.
China doesn’t believe in true democracy. China is definitely an authoritarian country.
Only the last week President Biden said that the authoritarian President Xi Jinping is “deadly earnest” about China “becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world. He and others-autocrats-think that democracy can’t compete in the 21st century with autocracies.”
Biden said, But America will. How China reacts will have to be watched.
The US and China must reconcile for the benefit of the global peace. But will they? That’s all.