By his expansion of the Afghan War into the sovereign nation of Pakistan, President Obama and his military advisers have made a grievous mistake that could lead America to the brink of a massive Central Asian war. Pakistan, a nuclear power, is in a state of turmoil as its government and its people react with rage over the continued U.S. encroachment into their nation and the relentless attacks by deadly U.S. drones in civilian populated areas.
What makes this situation even more volatile is the fact that, because of this increased U.S. military action, China has just recently issued a strong warning to the U.S. that an attack (meaning an attack using massive force) would be construed as an attack on China. China, which has very important interests and investments in Pakistan, will not allow them to be jeopardized by the increasing U.S. military actions in that nation. China, which has not been known to issue frivolous warnings, is giving the U.S. a strong, clear message in the form of an ultimatum.
China 's interests and involvement in Pakistan have been rapidly increasing in recent years. For example, China largely financed, developed and constructed a seaport at Gwadar, located in the Baluchistan Province. This port will provide a strategic advantage to both Pakistan and China as it will give them access to shipping lanes that transport the majority of petroleum from the Middle East, through the Strait of Hormuz.
Just recently Pakistan has asked China to not only be responsible for operating the Gwadar seaport but, also, to build a naval base in that same area. China, for reasons not divulged, has indicated that it does not wish to do so -- at least not yet. But just think of the strategic importance that the seaport and the naval base would have in that region; that's something the U.S. does not want to happen and one of the reasons for its increasing presence in that nation.
In another rather ominous move, China is providing 50 JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan following a recent visit to Beijing by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gilani. China is sending these fighters to Pakistan as a part of its strategy to convince Pakistan to diminish its relationship with the U.S. - and it appears to be working. Incidentally, China continues to be Pakistan's primary provider of weapons systems.
This growing relationship between Pakistan and China is not without good reason. While Pakistan and China have been allies and developing a relationship for years, both are very troubled by the U.S. military expanding its Afghan War into the Northwest regions of Pakistan. The Pakistani government is vehemently denouncing these continuing drone attacks against suspected insurgents that have caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians.
Pakistan will soon have to make a decision; will it continue to remain subservient to the U.S. and face more attacks within its borders, or will it side with China which poses no dangers and has plans to make even greater investments in Pakistan? Suppose the U.S. ends its reported $3 billion annual aid to Pakistan? Not to worry, for China that's a mere pittance in order to maintain close relations. So, the arrow of opportunity seems to be pointing directly toward China.
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