بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Author: Abdul Basir Sohaib Siddiqi
Date : 31.10.2020
After the collapse of Soviet Union, the world went towards unipolar system and new world order established in the world, it means that a unipolar world power in the form of new world order dominated the world that replaced the old relations and paradigms. Then, in the course of time, China emerges slowly as an economic power in the world. It is notable, that during this crucial time relations between US and Pakistan became weak due to the collapse of Soviet Union and the collapse of pro-Soviet Communist party in Afghanistan. It means that, Pakistan has lost its strategic importance in US foreign policy.
Another important change during this time, specially after 9/11 2001 is that, comprehensive relations took place to realize between the USA and India. Considering these changes in the matrix or in the depth of the competing policies of the great powers, from the beginning fall and collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the interaction as well approach of the USA and China shows competitive characteristics and the image of this competitive interaction has based on neo-structural realism. On the base of interdependence perspective.
Competition between the USA and China in Afghanistan shows two different forms of approach in accordance with specified goals as follows:
1– convergence approach.
2– divergence approach
Convergence approach and divergence approach as an interdependence perspective are two characteristics of the USA and China approach and interaction in Afghanistan that they regulate as crucial factors the interests of the USA and Chinese, therefore regional powers and actors in an interaction or action and reaction consider these two different forms of approach of the great powers to regulate there interests in the region and to achieve their security and economic priorities.
Pakistan and India are influential players and actors in the region, especially in relation to Afghanistan, therefore realistic analysis enable us to understand their policies in the context of world policies and enable us to understand their justification of their attitudes in this regard. It is clear and obvious that the emergence of convergence and divergence attitudes as contradictory facts in a planned realistic political context towards specified goals related USA and China and the competitive relations between Pakistan and India show in the new circumstances and new era the importance of south Asia as in the past. The recent efforts to stabilize peace in Afghanistan indicate that the region is moving towards regional balance of interests among rivalry powers in this region that has direct effects on south Asia, central Asia and middle East as well far East and indirect effects on whole world. In order to know, understand and justify the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban in Doha (February 29, 2020) makes it necessary to focus on US-Sino and Pakistan-India relations related US-Sino as well as on the relations between India and Pakistan in the form of complex and neo-structural interdependence paradigms.
It had better to remember that the presence of the United States, based on economic and military characteristics in the Rim land, China as an economic power and the innovator of the BRI (Belt Road Initiative) and Russia with active military capacities to challenge rivalry actions and the capacities to build weapons, are the most effective and first-tire powers in South Asia. In the interaction of these three great powers and their effects on the South Asian region, the relations between India and Pakistan have also shown continuous fluctuations sharply. It would be better to prioritize and explain these two characteristics of the US-Sino relations in regard of Afghanistan than to elucidate Indo-Pakistan relations in the context of US-Sino relations.
1- convergences between the USA and China over Afghanistan.
A – stability and security based on complex interdependence perspective.
B– promoting and improving of political and diplomatic capacities of political and diplomatic institutions in Afghanistan.
C – balancing between convergence and divergence.
2 – divergence between the USA and China.
A- difference attitude in the definition of stability and security in Afghanistan.
B– differance attitude in security and economic agenda and programs in the region and in Afghanistan.
C – differance attitude in security and economic agenda and program throughout Asia (central Asia, Middle East, Far East and in Indo-Pacific).
The interaction between the USA and Afghan Taliban in the current situations based on peace agreement that has been signed in 29.02.2020 in Doha — Qatar, which i took place due to complex interdependence and new paradigms. In the current situations, South Asia is the region of continuous flourishing Sino — Pakistan relations in the economic dimension based on BRI (Belt Road Initiative) which represents China‘s global economic plan and its flagship project is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (C PEC). China- Pakistan economic corridor represented by the Gwader Port that it shows growing development since 9/11 and due to this economic corridor (CPEC) the strategic importance of the Rim land has not diminished but further more increased in US foreign policy. Regarding competitive activities between US and China in South Asia, there are three images that could be shown as follows:
1 — strategic image.
2 — economic image.
3 — political image.
with the changed paraddigms and parameters, after 9/11 and after the collapse of Taliban regime in the new sociopolitical construction of Afghanistan and the establishment of artificial and imported democracy and the development of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan to eradicate terrorist organizations from Afghanistan and from the region, it has been seen that pivotal changes in US-Pakistan and US-India relatons occored .
A clear and obvious change after 9 / 11 in South Asia is a convergence attitude between the USA and India that it has been emerged regarding necessities of new political developments in the foreign policies of both countries and accordance with the interests a strategic goal of both countries in the region, this convergence was realized in the region. This convergence as comprehensive understanding between two countries evolved from a simple to a more complicated form, from abstract and subjective optimism to a concrete reality in the forms of international convergence to a bilateral relationship and strategic global partnership. Meetings of high-level officials from both countries were held on a regular basis, forming bilateral cooperation between the two countries based on democratic values. Extensive and comprehensive fields of relations between the United States and India are evident in the following realms:
1- Trade and investment.
2- Defense and security.
4- Science and technology.
5- Cyber security.
6- Civil nuclear energy.
7- Advanced technology.
8- Space technology.
9- Clean energy.
11 — health.
The story of the relations between the US and India in the new era leads to Narendra Modi‘s travel to the United States from September 26-30.2014, and the travel of Barack Obama from January 25-27, 2015. Narendra Modi met during his visit to the USA with president Barack Obama, members of the US Congress and US political leaders as well as with American industrial and commercial community, and Indian- American communities. In 2015, Barack Obama visited India during celebration ceremony of Republic Day in India on January 25-27 as Chief Guest. In this time a declaration was issued that is known as the Delhi declaration, a common strategic vision for Asia and Pacific. Then the Foreign Ministers promoted and evolved Strategic Dialogue to the Foreign and Trade Ministerial Strategic Dialogue. In the realm of defense, Indo-US relations flourished in its development very well and the basis of these defense relations is the framework of the relations that emerged in 2005. The details of the US-India agreement in 2005 are as follows:
1- Exchanges of defense equipment.
2- Joint military exercises.
3– Staff exchange.
4- Participation and cooperation in defense security and operations against pirates. This framework of defense understanding was renewed again in 2015 after ten years, according to which most bilateral military exercises have been organized by both countries till now. An important aspect and dimension of the US-Indo relations is cooprations to fight against Terrorism and in this regard has been focused on intelligence cooprations. In 2010 US and India signed counter-terrorism, operational, equipment a technical cooprations agreement. Flourishing bilateral trade activities amounted between US and India in 1990 to 2014 from $5.6 billion to $66.9 billion, and $34.57 billion from January to September 2015 in exports from India. It is registered in the United States, and exports from the United States to India during the same period amounted to $16.54 billion.
Referring to interests as competitive approach of India in Afghanistan, India had desire and wanted a military presence in Afghanistan based on a complex interdependence perspective as strategic alignment with US, but US rejected this desire because US was reluctant to do so. This was the reason that Indian focuses on its economic presence and considered such a presence necessary for the stability and construction of Afghanistan, and that is why the Indian presence was more focused on economic aid and economic development. It is obvious that in South Asia, Pakistan and India are two major nuclear powers and regional actors.
As it has been known that India had close ties with Soviet Union during Cold War era. India also was well-known a promenent member of non-aligned countries, unlike, Pakistan had close and strategic ties with US during Cold War era, Pakistan‘s foreign policy Key element is cordial, comprehensive and strategic relations with the USA, but Pakistan‘s position in US foreign policy fluctuates. And yet, despite decline reduction in relations, Pakistan has never been seen as an adversary in US foreign policy, but always was seen as friend in varying degrees in different situations. After the end of Cold War between west and east, and especially after 9/11, Indo-Russia relations weakened and US-India relations flourished, unlike US-Pakistan relations became weak and fragile. Despite Pakistan‘s aligning itself with the United States in the fight against terrorism and providing facilities to use its Airports, airspace and its roads to Afghanistan by coalition forces in the fight against terrorism, US-Pakistan relations did not have the warmth of the Cold War era and was seemed weaker than US-India relations.
Pakistan realized that it has lost its strategic meaning of friendship in US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and Pakistan, on the other hand, when serious changes took place in the region and central Asia emerged an important market providing economic opportunities after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pakistan seizes the opportunity using the Pakistan-China relationship and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is it
hallmark Gwadar trading Port.Too take into account as well as Afghanistan‘s economic and geopolitical role and its importanc in the region specially in relation to economic activities of Gwadar Port, Pakistan stretched out invisible hand to support Afghan Taliban while Pakistan emphasized on fighting in the forms of military measures and armed activities against Pakistani Taliban, this is what that Pakistan called fighting against terrorism. Considering changes in the world as well as regional politics after the end of the Cold War and the flourishing of US-India relations, especially after 2005, the friendly relations and cordial ties between Pakistan and Russia since 2007 have also given special importance to South Asia that these relations and ties have been understood as new beginning. Pakistan‘s strategic importance in US foreign policy diminished and fell into decline in the post cold War era. By losing its strategic importance in US foreign policy, Pakistan was able to establish cordial ties and relations in Russian foreign policy and increases its strategic importance in the context of Russian regional and global policies. On April 6, 2018, Pakistani Defense Minister Khorram Dastgir announced via Sputnik that the Pakistan military forces had planning to purchase SU-35 fighter jets and T90 tanks. The relations between Pakistan and Russia have begun in 2007 with the historic visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to Islamabad and during decisive phase of Pak-Russia relations in 2011, Pakistan and Russia called both United States as a destabilizing factor in the region and South Asia.
1 — Russia and Pakistan both have a common desire for reduction US influence in the region, especially in South Asia and the reduction of US influence in the region means by both Russia and Pakistan at the same time as peace in Afghanistan.
2 — In addition to military cooperation between Russia and Pakistan, Russia is a reliable supporter to Pakistan, for example Pakistan looks for Russia as a strong defender of Pakistan‘s positions in multilateral organizations. The first military exercise between Russia and Pakistan took place in 2016 and this exercise has been understood as diminished and declined Pakistan‘s dependence on the United States. The visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister to Moscow on February 20, 2018 is of great importance, during which he reaffirmed Russia‘s position on the continued presence of US forces in Afghanistan and expressed its support for the position of Russia in this regard. According to the Pakistan newspaper Dawn, dated 20.09.2020, Pakistan participated in the form of a group of 20 persons in the inauguration ceremony of a multinational military exercise in the Astrakhan region of the Caucasus. This military exercise was planned for September 21-26, with the aim of determining and evaluating the capabilities and capacities of the military forces to face of various challenges and learning from each other‘s experiences. In the Astrakhan,Caucasus exercise was mentioned that the military units of 6 countries in the command and personnel levels take part, which were:
Representatives from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka attended as observers. Earlier this month, Pakistan Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Nadim Reza traveled to Russia to attend a defense and security cooperation conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. To comprehend and understand the reasons for peace in Afghanistan on the basis of political, economical and military interactions of world powers and regional powers in the context of international relations as complex interdependence perspective, it should be better to focus on Asia and to do concentration on Sino-US, Sino-Pakistan, Indo-Pakistan, Sino-Indo and Sino-Russia as crucial necessities.
1- Sino-Pak economic relations on the axis of Gwadar Port:
Gwadar is located in a coastal fishing village of Pakistan Baluchistan- Mikran at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the mouth of Persian Gulf.
The city of Karachi located in approximately 460 km or 290 mile (ca. 467 km) east far from Gwadar. This fishing village is also located 75 km or 47 mile (ca. 76 km) east of Pakistan’s border with Iran Thee importance of Gwadar is its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz and is situated near strategic opening of Persian Gulf Thee distance between Gwadar and the Strait of Hormuz is calculated 624 nautical km to the east of Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is a great conduit to supply oil in large quantities to the world. It is notable as well that Gwadar is situated 380 km (ca. 236 miles mile) km northeast of the nearest point in Oman across the Arabian Sea, it is situated on the eastern bay of a natural hammerhead-shaped Peninsula protruding into the Arabian Sea from the coastline as well. Pakistan identified Gwadar as strategic Port many years ago but the basic steps took place by Pakistan and China in 2001 to build and to develop Gwadar port when China decided to be as strategic partner of Pakistan, therefore the foundation of Gwadar Port was laid down by Deputy prime minister of China Wu-bongo in March 2002. China’s financial contribution in the construction of the Gwadar Port was calculated 75% which is enormous amount. China financed 198$ million at the first phase of construction of the total cost which is calculated 1.16$ billion. It is worthy to mention that the total cost of the first phase was estimated 250$ million and the first phase construction includes of three multi-purpose ship berths. The second phase of the Gwadar Port project was estimated 600$ million, this phase includes nine multi-purpose ship berths, one modern Air-port, installation of Cameras to watch Commercial ships traffic and the activities of Indian and US Navy as a matter of necessity.
The second phase includes approach channels and storage terminals in addition of 9 berths which China had planned to develop this strategic Port. Rail and road links facilitate the connection of China’s western province of Xinjiang to the strategic Gwadar Port, the distance is reduced to connect China to sea Port because China’s eastern Ports are 3500 km away from Kashghar city located in western China while the distance between Kashghar city and Gwadar Port is 1500 km. The construction of Gwadar-Karachi high way is an important part of Gwadar Port project, this highway connects all Pakistan cities to each other turning economic opportunities into reality because the long distance between Gwadar and Karachi is reduced to seven hours. Gwadar Port at the proximity of Strait of Hormuz is the cause of economic development and prosperity for Pakistan, when this strategic Port is connected to Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and central Asia through roads and railways completely. This strategic port is emerging as an important trade hub in the area in future if peace and security are in the region. This short distance from the city of Kashghar in China to Gwadar Port is very important and effective providing the opportunities to booming economy for China as well. Gwadar Port has another strategic importance to Pakistan that Gwadar Port is a good and reasonable alternative to Karachi Port during military tensions with India to save Pakistan’s Navy and Commercial ships from military Threats of India.
It is obvious that 68% Pakistan’s trade takes place through Karachi Port and 32% through Port Qasem. The vicinity of Karachi Port makes it possible to blockade of Karachi Port by India; there are possibilities of military attacks on Karachi Port by India to devitalize in order to stop people or goods from coming in or out, as in 1971 during Pak-India war, the blockade of Karachi Port took place by India that the economy and trade of Pakistan were faced to serious military threat by Indian Army. Prior to the construction of Gwadar Port Project, the importance of Karachi Port was undeniable because this Port was the safe place for Pakistan’s Marine Headquarters as well. With the complete construction and prospering Situation of Gwadar Port, Pakistan wouldn’t be faced military and economic threats by Indian Army as had been occurred in the past in 1971. The operational management of strategic Gwadar Port has been taken over by Chinese company in 18 February 2013 and this taking over of operational management was proclaimed as a part of cooperative efforts of the two countries. China and Pakistan officially signed the agreement to transfer the management rights of Gwadar Port to a Chinese company at a ceremony held in the presidential residence in Islamabad on Monday 18 February 2013.
Chinese proclaimed that the responsibility of operational management of strategic Gwadar Port has peaceful and economic objectives, China emphasized that there is no harm to any country while prior media had reported the concern of India that the aim of China is to encircle India.
With the new such development in strategic Gwadar Port, India’s alarm systems and devices warned of a potential danger for encircling India.
India’s defense Ex-minister Antony had said in Bangalore that” it is a matter of concern for us (India).” It meant that taking over of Gwadar strategic Port operation management to China would affect India’s security.
To a question On the intensification of China’s activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Defense Ex-Minister had said that “China has also participated in IOR in development projects like Ports, deep sea mining, Ocean research and anti-piracy operations.”
2 – Sino-Kazakhstan economic activities and programs:
in unveiling and inaugural ceremony of the Silk Road and the economic Belt in Asthana of the capital of Kazakhstan, which now called Nursultan Road and Belt, these matters were outstanding cases as follows:
A. Emphasis on deep historical ties between the Kazakhs and Chinese.
B. The establishment of ties by Chines, that did not exist in the past.
C. The President of China emphasized on establishment of Kazakhs-Chinese relations in historical backgraund of 2100 years ago during the Han Dynasty, when Zhang Qian, the representative and envoy of the Chinese royal court, twice traveled to Central Asia with a message of peace and friendship.
D. China’s interest based on Zhang Qian’s travels, friendly contacts with Central Asian countries along the Silk Road that connects East, West, Asia and Europe.
E. The President of China mentioned the city of Almaty as ancient.
China replaces Soviet union after cold War in trade and emerges as more prominent partner in trade with Kazakhstan and other center Asia countries.
China’s ambitious economic plan, called BRI, has more than 100 member States, and these countries have signed agreements related BRI projects such as railways, ports, highways, and other infrastructures, and about 2,600 projects which amount to 3.7 Trillions of dollars are included in China’s economic plan.
At present, about 20 percent of these projects related to the BRI Silk Road and Economic Belt, which connect Asia, Europe and beyond, have been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.
According to a survey that took place by department of International economic Affairs, 40% show little negative impact, while 30-40% show somewhat and to a certain degree negative effects. About 20% are seriously were impacted.
When XiPing designed Silk Road and economic Belt ( BRI ),Trade between Kazakhstan and China amounted to $ 28.9 billion, while trade with Russia amounted to $ 23.5 billion. China emerged the largest investor in Central Asia.
China invested about $19 billion in Kazakhstan’s economy in the first two decades after Kazakhstan’s independence, and before the BRI inauguration, China had invested as well as in the energy sectors of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and Russia as well. Nurzhan Biatemirov, founder of the East-West Education Group, which specializes in English teaching to Kazakhs, asserts abou the interest of Kazakh youth in learning Chinese. The western part, which was dominated by Canadian companies, is now dominated by Chinese companies, because Chinese companies took over the control of the region, it means that Chinese replaced Canadian Companies. He says learning Chinese language make it possible to get a job.
Projecting a reliable image is necessary that China should exhibit in central Asia, because this reliable image as soft-power strategy and pragmatic attitude introduce China as proper alternative to West and Russia, in this regard the main aim of China is to change notion about it in the West Launching BRI, China simultaneously emphasizes on the promotion of its cultural values and has tied economic development to cultural values and considers the combination of both for better security conditions that contribute to economic development and legitimacy. It is effective based on the support of the people. It means that China wants to present itself as credible and profitable economic power in the world, because China pursuit common aims and goals together with member states along Silk Road and this ambitious diplomacy according to some strategic studies has been understood as hegemonic designs of China. China has focused on education also in Kazakhstan in order to flourish its diplomacy along Silk Road States, because the continuation of economic prosperity depends on education. This is because diplomatic circles in Chinese government have combined economic activities with education programs in Kazakhstan, providing scholarships for Kazakh students.
According to the China Scholarship Survey, the numbers of Kazakhs, who are studying in China has risen fivefold compared to last decade and reached to 18,000. In Kazakhstan and in most Central Asian countries, there is an attitude that “if you want to go abroad, learn English, and if you want to stay inside and get good jobs, learn Chinese.” There are three reasons that China has concentrated on Kazakhstan according to its BRI diplomacy as mentioned as below:
1- Energy security.
2- diversifying trade routes.
3- Internal stability and development.(domestic development and stability).
The above three reasons of China’s diplomacy as achievable goals are outlined and described in the geo-economics of BRI. Security and stability in Kazakhstan and in neighboring countries are essential and vital for China in terms of economic investment and long-term strategy. As it is known that Kazakhstan is the first and constant member of BRI, its approach and interaction regarding BRI is distinguished and preferable.
In Kazakhstan, for example, in the road and railway sector, China is supporting BRI infrastructure projects worth more than $ 5 billion by 2022. Most of the BRI projects in Kazakhstan are planned and financed by Kazakhstan, most through government funds or through cooperation of multilateral development banks.
It is notable that national development sterategies like „Kazakhstan 2050“ were merged with BRI.
By merging the Kazakhstan National Development Plan „Kazakhstan 2050“ with BRI by the Kazakh government, the Kazakh government acquired ownership and monopoly of BRI projects in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is the only country in the region that has established a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. It is not only a very valuable source of energy and key mineral resources for China, but also is a staunch and loyal supporter of regional security development in the Xinjiang Uiyghur Autonomous Region.
Kazakhstan serves as a vital transit corridor that connects China to Europe.
the position and location of Kazakhstan is decisive and very important for China and China‘s BRI strategy, both as a supplier of oil and uranium in particular and as a transit corridor.
3 – Russia, realization of the idea Eurasia and New START:
in influential foreign policy circles, in Russia, Professor Sergei Karaganov, informally is known as the „Russian Kissinger,“ he is the dean of the Faculty of world economy and International Affairs at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. And the honorary Chairman of the Russia’s Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
Sergei Karganov deduces from political and economic relations of the world and from powers arrangment that:
1- Relations between Russia and European countries are moving towards normalization.
2.-The flourishing of Sino-Russian relations in both economic and military dimensions means that China supports Russia‘s Army and Russia would be dependent on China‘s economy , it means that Moscow can count on China’s economic strength and power.
Karganov‘s argument is based on the cooperation and support of Beijing that when after Maidan and the Crimea referendum Russia was under high level pressure of Western, Beijing offered unlimited credit to Moscow but Russia refused and tried to manage the situation itself.
One of the signs and a decisive indication of a stable Russian-Chinese cordial interaction is that Russia and China have stopped competing in Central Asia. This does not mean that the competition was completely over and eliminated , but that there is still an anxiety among some Russian analysts about excessive powers of China. This anxiety has been revealed as a fear that is the cause of depriving of a good night‘s sleep.
This annoying fear is based on some perspectives, which China‘s relations with weaker and non-sovereign states worth to consider.
It seems that someone like Karganov, who is prominent analzerr in the realm of politics is that“pivot to the East“ and the good cardial strategic relations between Russia and China show Russia on the chessboard successful. Considering everything from authoritarian politics to Siberian natural resources, Karganov revealed the image of Russia as a great Asian power. Karganov says that despite great cultural distance between Russia and China, which is obvious difference between the two countries and separates them, they have historical common values and until the 15th century both countries were under the rule of Genghis Khan. Karganov concludes from his analysis that“ the dream of a rapprochement between Russia and the European Union is very much alive“, „but under Eurasian Optics.“
The concept of Eurasia, which deduces from Karganov‘s analysis, has the following characteristics
A- Multilateral participation.
B – integrated partnership
C- Characterized by Chinese support
D- Economic, political, cultural relations between different countries in a system equal ” with China playing the role of primus inter pares.“ which “significative part of the Western extremity of the Eurasian continent, that is, Europe.”
Karganov points out a major political development, the dichotomy in the continent of Europe, that is, Western and Northern Europe being absorbed into the American pole, while southern and eastern Europe tends to embrace the Eurasia project.
F- Russia‘s role in this in this regard is to create a balance between the two hegemonic powers, that is, this role will guarantee a new union of non-aligned nations, and this refers to the significant reorganization of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It is noteworthy to mention that the concentration on relations between the United States and Russia and their activities in the realm of nuclear weapons reduction and their view towards China and other powerful countries is necessary.
On June 22 in Vienna, negotiations between United States and Russia were scheduled to renew the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty called New START. Leading this negotiations Marshall Bellingslea was nominated to represent United States and Russia nominated Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Raybkov to represent in New START. The United States said that China should also take part in the talks, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said
” China has no intention of participating in the talks“.
Sergei Rybkov did not oppose the US invitation to China because he had no intention to disaccord, but he had doubted China‘s decision to join New START and even explicitly stated that China could not be brought to the negotiating table. Billingslea accused China of boasting about its growing nuclear arsenal“ to intimidate the United States and its allies”, and described the boasting as irresponsible and dangerous. US intelligence has access to information that China is on the verge of doubling its nuclear arsenal that this situation is the cause of concern of Trump administration.
China rejected to participate New START nuclear weapons reduction. It should be noted that according to the Washington-based Arms Control Association, the United States and Russia each have more than 6,000 nuclear warheads in 2019, while China has 290 nuclear warheads. According to the research croup, France and United Kingdom have 300 nuclear warheads, while India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have small nuclear arsenals.
4 – competition between US and China or new cold war:
The disintegration of US-China relations and divergence attitudes of US and China put the world on the brink and on the threshold of a Cold War. This tension between the United States and China is clearly reflected in the report of the China‘s National Institute for South China Sea Studies that warned of intensifying tension in Sino-American relations as a cold war. Considering China‘s Belt Road Initiative (BRI), China‘s position in realizing Eurasia according to Sergei Karganov‘s viewpoint, the claim of 90% ownership of China in the South China Sea, the confrontation of ASEAN countries against the Chinese ownership claim in the South China Sea, the rejection China‘s claim by ASEAN and the support of US for the position of the ASEAN Group countries, Iran-China relations and the decision of both to sign an agreement for 25 years, US-China naval exercises in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Yellow Sea, are hot points that scientists, analysts and politicians have concluded that there is a fierce competition and rivalry between US and China that have been shown as a form of a Cold War. Regarding tension between the US and China, the remarks and statements of Steve Bannon are thought-provoking that should be taken into account. Steve Bannon, a former senior White House strategist and CEO of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, believes that focus on China will be China central issue in the upcoming US presidential election.
And in this election, Bannon advised Donald Trump that he should focus on China, this focus have to be on the attitude of the Chinese Communist Party, which Bannon called the attitude of the Chinese Communist Party belligerent, hostile and aggressive as in the form of a war against the United States. He blamed the Communist Party of China for the pandemic of Covid 19 and the outbreak of the corona virus and its economic consequences and concluded that China‘s interests do not align with those of the United States, but they are contradictory. Bannon has intention to help the Chinese people to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party, and he advised the Chinese people to adopt the self-styled government-in-the-wings model of government that the people themselves wanted to achieve what the Federal Government of China meant. The strategist believes that the 21st century is the century of Asia, the century of the Pacific, and says that this is why he left home at a young age and joined the Pacific Fleet, and says that he was very interested in Asia and the Pacific. Bannon sees China as a State that is led by a number of gangsters. Beijing‘s decision to put pressure on Hong Kong has created tensions that have led to the Cold War between the United States and China. The cold war that includes fields of business, technology and the responsibility of spreading the corona virus or Covid19.
Democrats and Republicans were working simultaneously together to impose tough sanctions on China, Donald Trump has threatened to end city-state economic ties with the United States. It should be acknowledged that the conditions of the Cold War after World War II and in the current situation are different, despite the bitterness of US- China relations, they are determined to maintain their trade, scientific and educational relations. The decision to cut these relations remains only as a threat, because the United States and China have intertwined relations, especially in the field of economics. Regarding tough and rigid measures against China in the form of sanctions on China, a small impact of these sanctions will be felt on US as well. It should be noted that a proposal was made by senior members of the majority and minority in the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Jim Inhofe and Republican Jack Reed, to fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. The multibillion-dollar Deterrence Initiative was launched to strengthen American forces in Asia.
They said the effort would be a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party, that it would prove the American peoples commitment and obligation to defending American interests in the Indo-Pacific. It is deduced that China‘s geopolitical goal is to oust the United States from the western Pacific using the armed forces to unite with Taiwan in the form of a cross-Strait unification. To counter China‘s goal in the form of a geopolitical, the following details of budget are provided:
A. $3.9 billion for another submarine called the Virginia-Class Submarine , this is in addition to the $4.7 billion proposed for such a submarine in the Pentagon‘s 2021 budget.
B. $3 billion for one of the most expensive weapons systems in history, the F-35 Jet. This is in addition to the $4.6 billion requested in the same budget for 48 of them. Lately, China‘s activities in the Indo-Pacific are tangible and visible, therefore on June 4, 2020, India and Australia launched a comprehensive Strategic Partnership called “Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and a Mutual Logistic Support Agreement to “increase the mobility of their forces. With such agreements, it is possible that Australia will participate in the annual Malabar Naval Exercise. The Malabar Naval Exercise is an exercise that conducted since six years by the United States, India and Japan. The last time that Australia participated was in 2007. The common vision of India and Australia is set as follows: “India and Australia have a strong interest in a free, open, inclusive and law-abiding region in the Indo-Pacific. India and Australia share a common vision and interest in the freedom of navigation and aircraft, the establishment and maintenance of open, safe and efficient sea lanes in the Indo-Pacific region for transportation, communications and security. China‘s moves in the South China Sea have led the Philippines to take a realistic political approach to returning towards US foreign policy to provide a safe and secure place for itself.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sought to reduce strategic ties with the United States, but China‘s movements in the South China Sea thwarted those efforts, and Rodrigo Duterte once again emphasize on his relationship with the United States as a strategic necessity. In connection with the suspension of the decision to terminate the VFA Visiting Force Agreement, a treaty that provides a legal framework for US military activities in the Philippines. US Secretary of defense Mark Esper talked with Philippine defense minister Delfin Lorenzan. The dialogue held conciliatory and this conciliatory conversation between two high ranking officials is the clear sign of new chapter of cordial and strategic ties between US and Philippine as turning point and consolidation of the US strategic presence in the region.
In a telephone during conversation on June 12, 2020, which was phone conversation, US Secretary of defense Mark Speer thanked the Philippine President for the decision on Independence Day and promised US support and cooperation to the Philippine people, specially the Secretary of defense Mark Esper promised vaccine supply related Covid-19 to the people of Philippine. At the same time, Admiral Philip Davidson, the commander of the US Indo-Pacific command chief warned against VFA’s abrogation, because this abrogation reduces the abilities of the Philippine Army in counter terrorism. The relations between the United States and the Philippines justify the presence of US in the region and the reasons for this justification are to secure the region and to preserve US interests in Asia. At this time, there was concern that China was making moves in the South China Sea and in the waters claimed by the Philippines, creating the impression that China wanted to stabilize its position during Covid-19 pandemic.
In short, China‘s aggressive influence in Philippine waters and China‘s aggressive policy against smaller countries claiming ownership of the South China Sea have once again persuaded and forced the Philippines to join a strategic friendship with the United States. The Philippine department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine department of Energy (DOE) decided to take steps that Philippine President to issue an order for energy search in sea. This means that Philippine claims ownership on the seabed, which is itself a confrontation with China. These activities of the Philippines clearly show the strategic necessity of the United States in regional politics, which is of fundamental importance in the foreign policy of both countries. The Reed Bank area, northeast of the Spartly Islands, which has untapped oil and gas reserves, are claimed by both China and Manila. Duterte proposed common searching plan of reed bank through exploration projects to China to ease tensions between both countries. The current Situations and rifts in the region show that Manila is dreaming of a confrontation with China. Taiwan is also one of the hot spots in US-China relations.
After the implementation of the strict rules in the forms of a quick rigid and hard in Hong Kong, there is a strong possibility that China‘s next goal is Taiwan. Violations of Taiwan‘s airspace by Chinese fighters have occurred several times. It worthy to mention that it was planned to hold a large-scale People‘s Liberation Army (PLA) exercise in August 2020 in the form of a simulation of an attack on Taiwan‘s islands. In response to the activities of PLA (People Liberation Army), the defense and Armed Forces of Taiwan conducted a large-scale firing exercise in the west coast of Taiwan on June 2. Taiwan used US military equipment such as Apache Attack Helicopters and F16 V Jet fighters in this exercise. China has warned Taiwan not to support insurgents in Hong Kong, and they not to be sheltered in Taiwan. China has also accused Taiwan‘s President Tsai Ing-Wen of separatist conspiracy and warned of military options on the table in this regard. Hong Kong‘s situation and Taiwan‘s stance towards Hong Kong, that has put the island in confrontation with China, and this stance was that the President of Taiwan described on June 30, 2020 that Beijing‘s new security law violated the autonomy of Hong Kong. The United States supports the position of the ASEAN group countries, a position that does not allow China to control the South China Sea as its maritime empire. ASEAN’s leaders insist that the South China Sea dispute (SCSD) must be resolved through international law, and United States supports this position. In short, China will not be allowed to consider the South China Sea as its naval empire. The declaration of the 36th ASEAN Summit highlighted the complexity and deterioration of the situation in the South China Sea.
ASEAN’s leaders emphasized on the need to maintain and promote peace, security, safety, stability, and freedom of navigation and flight over the South China Sea, in addition on international laws, including the 1982 UNCLOS Act in the South China Sea. The majority of the South China Sea islands are controlled by China. Other countries, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, and the Philippine, still claim ownership of some South China Sea islands that are members of the ASEAN. Regarding South China Sea Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan also have disputes with China as well. It is worthy to mention that Rim land is the strategic location that is the Persian Gulf its center, having prominent and decisive position in the US foreign policy. During the Cold War between the West and the East, the strategic position of the Persian Gulf had a major meanig. In world politics especially in the United States foreign policy. On the basis of geo-strategic, geopolitics and geo-economics terms, the importance of Persian Gulf could be not denied in the current situation, therefore the strategic position of the Persian Gulf in US foreign policy is still emphasized on the basis of the of the US-China competition that it is understood as new Cold War.
According to American strategists, competition with China have great importance and that is why the importance of the Persian Gulf states in US foreign policy is increasing. This strategic focus and decisive view on the Persian Gulf, this time depends not on oil and gas, but the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf region depends on strategically and geopolitical importance for the continuation of US presence in the Indo-Pacific Obvious, the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb have not only decreased but also increased because by these two strategic straits, it is possible to realize the facilities of control measures in the region as well as the abilities to neutralize the control of rival powers in the region. In March 2019, according to an agreement between the United States and Oman, the US Navy was granted the access to the ports of DUQM and SALALAH, these are important ports as Key points in the Arabian Sea between Chinese naval base in Djibouti and the Pakistan Port of Gwadar of which China is a major stockholder. It means that Oman has a strategic position in the game of rivalry between the great powers in the Indian Ocean. The United States does not need more Gulf oil, but China does, and about 44 percent China depends on Oil of the Persian Gulf, it means that 44 % of China‘s oil comes from the Persian Gulf, and the US military presence in the Middle East makes it possible to create challenges for China to avoid China’s access to Persian Gulf Oil and to create trouble for China in the realm of economy, if needed. This summer, 2020, Sino-Israeli relations made headlines in newspapers, while strategists think that it is a test of US-China competitive capabilities in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, as well as muscles contraction that they show each other in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea.
Israeli leaders attach less importance to relations and friendship with China, while Israel relations with US are extensive including many fields. It means that the relations of Israel with China and the United States are never comparable. Sino-Israel relations are in the realm of trade, while US-Israel relations are strategic regarding common goals of both US-Israeal was known comprehensive. With regard to Sino-Israeal relations It is noteworthy that the management of Haifa port will be handed over to China next year and the US Sixth Fleet is currently stationed in Haifa port. A long-term economic agreement between Iran and China has been the headline of newspapers which its implemention and realization will lead to serious changes in realms of geo-economics, geopolitics. Negotiations between China and Iran are set to lead to a 25-year economic agreement. China is a good market for Iranian crude oil. The deal, that called as Iran-China Road map, has been potentially created during Ahmadinejad’s presidency in the context of Iran‘s foreign policy, hereinafter it was announced in 2016 during the Chinese president‘s visit to Iran. China will invest in Iran for 25-year, a deal which is amounted $400 billion, especially in the energy sector, which is in dire need of investment to modernize and rebuild the oil industry, including wells. Refineries and other infrastructures requiring about $150 billion. This agreement will make the commercial port of Chabahar also run by the Chinese. An economic cooperation between China, Pakistan and Iran including Afghanistan is taking shape in the region. In the midst and the course of a such agreement between Iran and China, due to India‘s reluctance or unwillingness as a result of US sanctions on Iran, after that Iran decided to terminate the agreement with India that had been signed between Iran and India in May 2016, a 628-kilometer construction railway line from the port of Chabahar to Zahedan across the Afghan border between Iran and India Located across the Afghan border.
The agreement and signing of this section between Iran and India, which is related to the construction of 628 km of railway from Chabahar to Zahedan, was set up on the sidelines of a tripartite agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. The military exercises of US and China in the South China Sea at the same time and simultaneously are serious confrontation in the region. On June 4, 2020, the United States Navy sent to South China Sea two aircraft carriers, called USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz. The United States called the South China Sea exercise Dual-Carrier Operations, which began in 2014, is committed to support the protection of Indo-Pacific in terms free and open region. Coinciding with the presence of US warships in the South China Sea, China also deployed its latest warships, Type 052D guided-missile destroyers and Type 054A guided-missile frigates. Chinese military exercise took place in South China Sea, East China Sea and Yellow Sea. The Chinese Armed Forces, People Liberation Army (PLA) is testing DF-21D and DF-26 missiles, known as aircraft carrier killers, capable of targeting the largest US warships off the coast of China.
China‘s official announcement in relation to the military exercise was that the exercise was a program of defense of China‘s territorial integrity and sovereignty and there was no intention to target any country. China criticized the US military presence in the South China Sea, called it a factor in regional instability. Chinese military experts gave a broad hint of the Chinese military abilities to monitor US military exercises adding that China still has the ability to neutralize US surveillance. The United States objected to Chinese military exercises in the region as well, describing July 1, 2020 it was the beginning of the Chinese Army‘s ground and naval exercises in the South China Sea. The exercises took place in the southeastern region of Hainan and parts of the Chinese-dominated Paracel Islands in an area declared a temporary maritime exclusion zone (MEZ).
Vietnam claims also the ownership of this region as an attempt of instability in the region. The United States and Vietnam currently have good friendly and cordial bilateral relations and United States is a prominent economic partner of Vietnam which borders China. US trade with Vietnam increased from about $400 million in 1994 to $77 billion last year. It is worth that in the first five months of this year, 2020, 8 percent increase is also noticeable.
Regarding economic activities in the region, US focuses on the strategy that it should pave the way to reduce Vietnam‘s dependency on China. Vietnam‘s opposition to Chinese expansionism, especially in the South China Sea is gaining ground in US foreign policy. The main aim of the United States is economically strong Vietnam to confront China‘s expansionism. Taiwan and Vietnam are also prominent in the US $6.9 billion military aid program to Asian allies. Vietnam is pleased with the US Navy presence in the South China Sea and sees it as success, therefore Vietnam will welcome US Navy ships in the future. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has supported the Philippines and Vietnam in the wake of China‘s military exercise in the South China Sea. Pompeo described the Chinese exercise as “very provocative“ and said that the United States was opposed to China‘s illegal claims.
The importance of the South China Sea:
The South China Sea is an important passage and crossing point for a significant portion and huge amounts of the world‘s merchandise, bordering Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The South China Sea has an estimated annual trade value of about $5.3 trillion, of which $1.2 trillion is the total trade share with the United States. China claims a large portion of the South China Sea, which accounts for 3.5 million square meters, or about 90 percent. Tensions erupted in the South China Sea when the US State Department rejected all of China‘s claims and did not endorse China‘s activities in the South China Sea, saying that the altitude of US was legal and according to the Law.
US is increasing its military power in the region to prevent China‘s strong dominant presence in the South China Sea.
According to the situations that have been mentioned and facts that described, it is note able to consider that there is clear evidence which the United States is focusing on the Indo-Pacific, because there is serious and vital competition between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific region and on the other hand, The United States wants to maintain its dominance and control over the Persian Gulf as well. Pakistan finds once more its strategic location in US foreign policy to maintain US dominance and control over the Persian Gulf.
Pakistan‘s economic ties with China and Pakistan‘s growing ties with Russia and unlike India‘s growing relations with US after the collapse of Soviet union and 9/11 raised concerns that Pakistan might fall completely into the trap of rivals and this is what that US does not want to take place in the region. There are possibilities hat wide empty space and rift between US and Pakistan poses a potential risk and hazard of serious challenges through Pakistan Port of Gwadar in the Persian Gulf. It is important to know that Pakistan has close relations with Afghan Taliban and Afghan Taliban movement has a well-defined position in Pakistan‘s economic activities in the region, especially in Afghanistan, therefore regional circumstances reaffirm Pakistan‘s strategic friendship with US to preserve the interests of both US and Pakistan in the region. With Pakistan‘s consent and Pakistan‘s cooperation Peace is being made in Afghanistan, it means that peace in Afghanistan is based on US-Pakistan strategic bilateral relations and this peace is defined in accordance with regional strategies of the United States and Pakistan, as a peace that has its roots in the economic interests of the region as a serious competition.
Russia and China have no security concerns because the Taliban, in line with Pakistan policy, would not engage in hostile actions against Russia and China, in addition they would serve as preventative factor in spreading destructive armed violence to the economic and political realms.
Peace in Afghanistan means re-emergence of Pakistan as an active ally of the United States, pursuing its interests in the region.
The evident Signs of this reemergence of Pakistan as an active player and its effective steps towards peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan in accordance with US foreign policy can be seen from that time when General Joseph Dunford was nominated as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and had talked about his plans in the US Senate.
In summary, the initial steps for peace in Afghanistan were taken in practice in 2015, leading to an agreement of peace between the United States and Taliban on February 29, 2020, in Doha-Qatar.
It had better to understand precisely this peace which awaits for its final stages of legal frameworks and concrete form in the intera-Afghan dialogue in Doha, let us turn to the initial practical steps of 2015 in US foreign policy and US relations with Pakistan and India.
Gen Joseph F. Dunford Jr, who had been head of Marine Group of US army confirmed Pakistan’s pivotal roll and cooperation regarding peace in Afghanistan in a three-hour hearing at the US Armed Services committee dated July 2015.
Key points that asserted by General are as follows:
1- confirmation of the significance regional cooperation and partnership for stable, democratic Afghanistan.
2 – the requirement of stronger ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
3 – the requirement of positive and stable relations between Pakistan and India as convergence attitude.
4 – the necessity of the US-Pakistan cardial ties and relationship, accordance with general attitude, was indispensable to US basic national security interests.
5 – the requirement of continuation US cooperation with Pakistan to defeat and to eradicate terror organisations.
2 – https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/chinas-silk-road-diplomacy-in-kazakhstan
3 – https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/russia-aiming-to-realize-greater-eurasia-dream/
4 – https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/06/10/us-and-russia-to-resume-nuclear-talks-but-china-casts-cloud/
5 – https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/how-cold-war-with-china-will-affect-americans/
6 – https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/china-and-the-us-on-a-conflict-collision-course/