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The China-Pakistan Relationship

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Via Yglesias, China Hand has a pretty interesting post about China’s influence over the Pakistani decision to crack down in Waziristan and at Lal Masjid:

It was, after all, the provocative kidnapping of 7 PRC nationals that compelled Musharraf—reportedly under heavy Chinese pressure—to abandon a policy of appeasement and compromise with Islamic militants at the Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad and, in July of this year, launch a bloody assault that revealed the extent of the security crisis at the heart of the Pakistani military regime and displayed to the U.S. Musharraf’s—and Pakistan’s–wholehearted reliance on China.

This also reminds me of Jonathan Mirsky’s article in the November 8 NYRB about Xinjiang. Among other things, Mirsky reminds us that the PRC welcomed the War on Terror as an opportunity to launch its own crackdowns on Islamic militants (and Islamic non-militants) in Xinjiang. Memories of this (and notice of China’s role in Pakistan) should cause neo-Cold Warriors of the Kirchik/Hitchens variety to hesitate before making absurd claims about Chinese obstructionism in the War on Terror; it should, but it won’t…

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