China-Pakistan Conjure A Brazen Media Game

Are India’s comprador mainstream media vendors selling Bharat’s vital interests down the rivers bordering Pakistan and China?

Links between China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and China’s unquenchable thirst for Middle-East oil point to the biggest red herrings meant to fool a huge part of the world – yet again at the cost of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi landed what can be termed ‘oral Baluchistan sucker-punch’ on the glass jaws of Islamabad’s military mastodons on India’s Independence Day. Reeling under its ache, Pakistan and China are operating through elements in India’s media to spread disinformation on Bharat’s foreign policy, whose outcome could only suit the evil designs of Beijing mandarins serviced by its Rawalpindi-based army top-brass mess-menials.

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Outputs of India’s top, giant information disseminators – viz. the Press Trust of India [PTI] and its competitor – Asian News International [ANI] indicate such a perfidy. The following paragraphs point to possibilities of total myopia or complete treachery on the part of these news agencies.

There are other sinister angles. Some of them snake into the innards of India’s financial capital Mumbai and a few smelly entails of a mysteriously dead 4th Estate fixer.

The Pakistani yelp is clearly audible from the tone of Abdul Basit, the enemy nation’s agent provocateur operating under diplomatic garb, as reported by the Financial Express, citing an ANI dispatch. Operative excerpts:

India’s denial to hold talks with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir recorded reactions from both sides. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit Islamabad feels the need to hold talks over Kashmir, an ANI report says.

“You all know that we took a step towards having dialogue but that didn’t work out. We did send an invite to India but that did not move forward. We do feel talks on Kashmir is needed [sic],” Basit was quoted as saying.

Reacting to allegations concerning Dawood Ibrahim’s hideout in Pakistan, Basit was dismissive.

“Ye baat puraani ho gayi hai (this is an old issue),” he said.

Pakistan had written to India on August 15, calling for a dialogue on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and humanitarian issues related to the violence there. India rejected the offer.

Not far behind was India’s biggest news agency – PTI. It regurgitated the Chinese line on Modi to twist the narrative. The dispatch was cited by the Times of India. Operative excerpts:

Chinese scholars are “deeply disturbed” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent reference to Baluchistan. A senior expert, talking to PTI, warned of joint steps by China and Pakistan if an “Indian factor” disrupts the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC], with the region as its hub.

“If India is found by China or Pakistan in disrupting the process of CPEC, it will really become a disturbance to China-India relations, India-Pakistan relations,” South Asia expert Hu Shisheng said.

“If that happens China and Pakistan could have no other way but take united steps. I want to say that the Pakistan factor could surge again to become the most disturbing factor in China-India relations, even more than the Tibet, border and trade imbalance issues,” he told PTI here.

Hu is the director of China’s state-run think-tank Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies. The institute is affiliated to the Chinese foreign ministry.

“All the three countries could be badly derailed from their current facts of economic and social development. It could be very bad,” Hu said.

Expressing concern over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to the human rights situation in Baluchistan in his Independence Day address, he said Chinese scholars were “deeply disturbed by the reference”.

Welcoming the formation of the special mechanism for talks during Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to India to resolve differences, Hu said the two sides can hold wide-ranging talks on CPEC, NSG and India’s bid to ban Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar in the UN.

“If CPEC is completed not only China and Pakistan but also Afghanistan, India and Iran can benefit a lot. India’s projects in Chabahar port in Iran too can benefit,” Hu averred.

Hu claimed the CPEC will not disturb the sovereignty claim of Pakistan and India in the Kashmir issue.

“It is quite clearly written in the 1963 border treaty of Pakistan and China that if Pakistan and India finally reach agreement on Kashmir issue then the treaty would be accordingly amended. The CPEC construction is conducive to regional stability including China’s Xinjiang. China dare not give up the management and frontier regional development just for being sensitive to the Indian concerns over Kashmir issue. China has its own national concerns, especially stability of Xinjiang,” Hu pointed out.

“If Indian concern is too much, China is also one part of the Kashmir issue. If the accession (area by Pakistan to China) is regarded by India as one part of the problem then let the three of us sit down to talk. Whatever happened in the past, it has not become so serious then let us talk about it [sic],” Hu added.

China has dangled a huge red herring in this regard to divert the globe’s attention from. Beijing’s sweat to get the world media to concentrate on the ‘crippling costs’ of its oil imports from the Middle East is a clever attempt to camouflage the possibility of losing one of its biggest provinces – Xinjiang. Here is an indication as to how western media has been completely fooled.

Also read: Contemporary Tamil fiction at its best 

China’s daily crude imports this year are touching 7.4 million barrels according to an analyst with S&P Global Platts, Song Yen Ling. It is up 10% from last year’s 6.7 million. China’s growing oil thirst, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a serious cause for Beijing’s concern.

China’s largest African suppliers of oil are: Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, and Sudan. Smaller exporters include Algeria, Chad, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, and Libya.

China has also recently cut major energy deals with Russia, as Moscow and Beijing unfreeze decades of mutual suspicion and mistrust in a growing geopolitical alliance also aimed at reducing U.S. regional and global hegemony. Middle Eastern oil still represents over 50% of China’s oil needs.

Most of this oil passes through – the Straits of Hormuz. Roughly, 20% of the world’s petroleum (about 35% of the petroleum traded by sea) passes through the strait, making it a highly important strategic location for international trade, says the relevant Wikipedia dossier.

China spends roughly US$1.6 billion per month to transport its oil from various parts of the globe to its ports. Its oil import growth rate is pegged at 16% per annum and hence – its costs could escalate beyond manageable proportions. Its oil buys are another story – accruing to US$11.5 billion a month including transportation costs.

But, Chinese slit eyes are rooted to another spot in the area that has stuff worth roughly US$ 30 trillion – in its immediate neighbourhood – Afghanistan!

Or is that China is getting even for a sinister event that escaped the world’s main mainstream media drones’ eagle eyes?

According to Wikipedia, there are over 1400 mineral fields in Afghanistan. They contain barite, chromite, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, natural gas, petroleum, sulphur, talc and zinc. The precious stones in the nation’s underbelly include emeralds, lapis lazuli, red garnets, and rubies.

China has a land border with Afghanistan that snakes through a chicken-neck pass called Vakhjir Pass. It passes through the Hindu Kush or Pamirs at the eastern end of the Wakhan Corridor, the only pass between Afghanistan and China. It links Wakhan in Afghanistan with the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County in Xinjiang, China, at an altitude of 4,923 metres (16,152 ft) above mean-sea-level [MSL]. The pass, not an official border crossing point, has the sharpest official change of clocks of any international frontier (UTC+4:30 in Afghanistan to UTC+8China Standard Time, in China).

Despite the common border cited above, China needs a circuitous route to enter Afghanistan – which can only be through PoK and Baluchistan. In a word, that sums up the theme behind the CPEC.

On the Chinese side, the region is home to the Uighur people and part of   the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region [XUAR]. It is the largest Chinese administrative division, the 8th largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 (0.64 million square miles) It contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin administered by China. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. Only about 4.3% of Xinjiang’s land area is fit for human habitation. The Xinjiang autonomous region in China’s far west has had a long history of discord between the authorities and the indigenous ethnic Uighur population, said a BBC report.

The Xinjiang conflict is an ongoing separatist conflict in China‘s far-west province of Xinjiang, whose northern region is known as Dzungaria and whose southern region (the Tarim Basin) is known as East Turkestan. Uyghur separatists and independence movements claim that the region is not a part of China. The Second East Turkestan Republic was, it is alleged, illegally incorporated by the PRC in 1949 and has since been under Chinese occupation. The East Turkestan Independence Movement [ETIM] is led by Turkic Islamist militant organisations, most notably the Turkistan Islamic Party (formerly the East Turkestan Islamic Movement), against the government in Beijing.

In 2012, Chinese authorities asked Pakistan to hand over members of the extremist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) believed to be operating out of the latter nation. Beijing named six terror suspects and described the group as the “most direct and real safety threat that China faces”.

In 2015, a Reuters report said that almost all members of the Uighur militant group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) have been eliminated from Pakistan. The source was Pak President Mamnoon Hussain, who had visited Beijing. China blames violent unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang on separatist groups like ETIM, who it says want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan and have bases in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many foreign experts, however, have questioned whether ETIM exists as the coherent group China claims it is.

Xinjiang has another controversial border – with the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region. It is also called Tibet or Xizang. It was created in 1965 on the basis of Tibet’s incorporation by the PRC in 1951.

Within China, Tibet is identified as an Autonomous Region. The current borders of Tibet were generally established in the 18th century and include about half of ethno-cultural Tibet. The Tibet Autonomous Region is the second-largest province-level division of China by area, spanning over 1,200,000 square kilometres (460,000 sq mi), after Xinjiang, and mostly due to its harsh and rugged terrain, is the least densely populated provincial-level division of the PRC.

If the CPEC is disrupted, China would lose its US$46 billion investment to link its Kashghar region to the Arabian Sea. The CPEC is aimed at cutting costs of importing oil, paving the way to export PRC goods through the Arabian Sea and simultaneously pose a threat to the first world’s already garbled Middle-East policy.

Thirsty for the Middle-East’s oil, China aims to cut down costs of ferrying the crude by some 1600 km as tankers have to traverse the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Straits of Malacca before reaching the Chinese ports. Peoples’ Republic of China is the largest importer of crude in the world at the present.

Modi’s Independence Day speech pointed to Pakistan’s losing its biggest province Baluchistan on the one side and ending the illegal occupation of Kashmir on the other. For China this is alarming. Not only could its carefully laid plans to spring a series of traps against the West in the southwest underbelly of Pakistan go kaput, but also, its strategic advantages in India’s northwest flank may go up in smoke. Worse, the clarion calls for the independence of Uighurs and Tibet would receive a fillip – leaving China minus its largest province bordering Russia.

The policy of the West with regard to Afghanistan isn’t pure as driven snow either.

NATO needs to cart away the booty from Afghanistan and India’s western coast port of Kandla is the safest exit point.  NATO had vainly tried various tricks since 2010 with regard to the riches of Afghanistan!

Boxed into a corner of its own making, Pakistan is fomenting trouble in Kashmir valley to delay the inevitable.

Corrupt sections of the media are overplaying the problems in India’s northernmost state – where terrorists with active support from Pakistan have become a headache.

China hopes to hem India in from its northwest flank through its investment in Gwadar and also through the CPEC. The Beijing dragon is already present in Sri Lanka in the southeast port of Hambantota – sending submarines and warships to dock at what is slowly turning out to be a naval base meant also to challenge NATO presence in the Indian Ocean’s Diego Garcia atoll. Pakistani and Chinese presence in Maldives – another archipelago in India’s southwest flank is cause for worry. The less said about Chinese mischief in India’s northeast flank the better because New Delhi’s snob political classes’ attitude towards the unfortunate citizens of the north eastern 7 sisters is pathetically piss poor.

In the face of such extenuating circumstances, the suspected treason of India’s mainstream media could be cause for serious concern.

The original question again:

Are India’s comprador mainstream media vendors selling Bharat’s vital interests down the rivers bordering Pakistan and China?

Author: haritsv

42 years' unblemished record of being an investigative journalist. Print quality journalist in 3 languages - English, Tamil, Hindi. Widely travelled, worldwide. Cantankerous and completely honest.

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