Sino-US Security Issues in Asia

Asifa Jahangir

As concept of security widened in post cold war politics in different dimensions, its essence of traditional view could not change even in 21st century. Every state of the world shapes conventional notion of security complying with its own regional environment and requirements. In Far East and South Asian regions, emergence of China has determined security issues. Every participant of the region re-securitizes its strategic policies by itself or by being ally of the USA. Sino-oriented securitization paradigm has become a pivotal part of international strategic studies because the USA perceives threats from it to its geopolitical and strategic interests in the region.








The geopolitical-cum-economic strategic significance of region is very momentous; as according to Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN about 3.1 billion people out of the world’s total 6.4 billion reside over here; presence of important international maritime transport route; nuclear proliferation in the form of de jure Indian, Pakistani, North Korean nuclear programs and having capacity to make nuclear devise within three to six months by Japan, emergence of marvelous economic integration in ASEAN under strong Sino-oriented order, existential presence of world’s 4 major economic hubs (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, and to some extent South Korea) in this area make it more important, hence the volatile security situations of the region.

In Far East, there is confrontation between China and USA. As it is being stated by strategic analysts and experts, Afghan war can be a cause of the USA’s supremacy in world politics. Therefore, she is tackling with China with two basic foreign policy instruments—encirclement and management—over Far East theatre. The sole superpower wants her hegemony in the region and has strong allies in the form of Japan, South Korea (SK) and Taiwan to support her ambitions. Starting from Taiwan issue, China considers it as an integral part with mainland China.

Interference of the USA in Taiwan affairs either by logistical support, financial aid or diplomatic support, all steps are disturbing existing security equilibrium in the region. China is trying to balance them via pacifying aggressive aspirations of Taiwanese people in economic terms. China is investing billions of dollars in economic development of Taiwanese but the USA provokes them against China’s intent of direct occupation over Taiwan. Besides China has opened another option of military action if any attempt is made either by Taiwan back to the USA support or by the USA along with its regional partners. That is why having direct threat to its solidarity and integrity, China is hastily equipping herself militarily with modern and sophisticated technology via rapid economic growth. The next hot issue is North Korean nuclear program. There are two views among intelligentsia, one says that China is supporting NK to stand in alarming situation against America and other opines that NK is doing by herself to make sure her survival against USA-assisted South Korean attack. Holistically, China has tried to solve out the problem during chain of Six Party Talks among NK and the USA, but the latter is reluctant to settle nuclear conflict and fulfill its past promises to the former party.

Contrarily, the USA is encircling China to contain her militarily might in the region. On one side, she has made lilipads (establishment of military bases, concept given by Rumsfeld) in South Korea and Okinawa in Japan. Deployment of the USA troops and NATO in Afghanistan and American military bases are also clear indication of encirclement policy. American intervention is obviously clear on Pakistani soil across Afghanistan. On the other hand, she has been signing military alliances with (SK, Japan, Magnolia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore) or nuclear agreements (Indo-USA civil nuclear deal) since 2005 to its partner to maintain its leverage in Asian politics as well as in global one. As China is adopting active economic diplomacy as a counterstrategy to weaken the USA physical presence in Asia, she is expanding economic ties with all states individually and organizations collectively.

The Far Eastern region politics has now extended up to South Asia. Pakistan and India have got very strategic importance in the enmity of two lions over Asian theatre as whole. Strategic dialogues have been going on between the USA-Pakistan on one side and America is simultaneously underpinning its ties with India to stand a proxy competitor against China in the region on other side. As the western world including USA blame Pakistan on the issue of horizontal nuclear proliferation by A. Q. Khan network to North Korea, India is capitalizing from all happenings to denounce Pakistan as an ‘epicenter of Terrorism’ in the world. In this regard, Pakistan’s geopolitical-cum-economic strategic position on the world map demands to cash the golden status. It should decide to be a ‘strong strategic’ ally of China rather than America. Its policymakers must have to adopt bi-dimensional policy regarding China for long term interests: economic and diplomatic ones. In the first case, Pakistan can be a diplomatic initiator of abolishing differences over the North Korean nuclear program issue and Taiwan between China and America (an effort did in Nixon period to come close to each other), simultaneously can agree both on developing positive image of Pakistan worldwide rather a failed state or terrorist state claimed by the west. Economically, Pakistan can expand its eco-orbit to Japan and AESAN. Moreover, ending ties with USA is quite impossible however dependency can be lessened gradually.

The blame of ‘nuclear geography’ expansion (either in Iran case or North Korean case) is being put on Pakistan. Moreover, India did continuously struggle hard to denounce Pakistan as a terrorist state by USA during Obama’s visit to Asia and after critical scenario of Osama bin Laden’s capture from Pakistan’s city ‘Abbottabad’. But China isn’t in favor of this stance of whole western community or India. Far Eastern politics have immediate influence over South Asian politics. USA and China might be either balancer or someone else, can disturb existential equilibrium by overshadowing strategic interests of other. Therefore, both would use their own players?Pakistan and India or both or any of them?on proper time in this chess game over Asian floor to go ahead while winning power play. That is why Pakistan and India would have to preserve their interests by themselves. India is well performing her duty; however, Pakistan is not unfortunately. This is a thought-provoking sign for our politicians and establishment…..!


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