Source Pravda.Ru

Is It Another Axis?

The Iraqi war has drawn attention of observers and experts for a very long period certainly. Meanwhile, events in the world may influence the geopolitical layout of forces. This will mostly concern Asia that has already become a ground for clash of political and economic interests of leading powers of the world. At the time when the USA is preoccupied with establishment of control over the Middle East, US’s potential rival, China, has preferred a slower but more effective way.

Yesterday news agencies reported that China and Pakistan concluded an agreement on joint construction of Chashma-2 nuclear power plant. To all appearances, Islamabad pins much hope on cooperation with Beijing. At least, in addition to cooperation in construction of a nuclear power plant in Pakistan, China is going to invest 500 million dollars in different economic sectors of the southern neighbor. These are investments in modernization of the Pakistani railways, training of Pakistani students in China and construction of a deep-sea port in the city of Gwadar. Besides, the Pakistani authorities expect that more Chinese tourists will come to the country to see ancient Buddha monuments built during the Gandhara civilization.

What is more important, the Beijing-Pakistan relations are being actively strengthened. When Pakistan failed to get adequate support from Moscow and Washington, it appealed to Beijing, the capital with which Islamabad always kept up good relations. Besides, both states are alike in their traditionally strained relations with India that wouldn’t mind to take the leading role in the Asiatic world. So, it is highly likely that future relations between Pakistan and China will be even stronger. After all, if this tandem proves to be rather strong, it will exert considerable and probably even decisive influence on the situation in South Asia.

It’s not clear yet how other countries of the world will react to consolidation of the alliance, and this concerns not only South Asiatic countries. At present Washington is concentrated upon Iraq and its neighbors. It is highly likely that the Mideast country will remain the center of US’s attention for a long period. To tell the truth, Moscow doesn’t pay too much attention to South Asia as well. However, excessive consolidation of the Pakistani-Chinese relations doesn’t meet Russia’s interests. But it would be unfavorable to try and stand up against this consolidation. Now Russia should develop cooperation with India and at the same time keep up the dialogue with Islamabad. As for China, Pakistan won’t add more problems to its relations with Russia.

Photo: Ziang Zemin and Pervez Musharraf were always on good terms

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/15/41/8957_Chinaos.html

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