Provocation that did not work


A deliberate risky attempt by USA to flirt with the Red Lines of People’s Republic of China, by sending Speaker of their House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, while on a tour of certain Asian countries, ended without any big incident, resulting in a big sigh of relief for the world at large. The immediate winner, apparently seems to be USA, as they successfully called the Chinese bluff, who were hurling warning after warning towards US asking them not to play with fire. However, larger American aim to provoke China in some sort of military conflict could not be achieved.

A lot of countries across the globe, including European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries reiterated stance of One-China Policy, which clearly meant political victory for China. So except for exhibition of its military might and recklessness, United States could not achieve much. However, they did demonstrate the broad contours of their future politico-military strategy and direction of their line of thinking.

It seems that the US political and military thinkers and strategists now firmly believe in enticing and provoking China into a military conflict, before it overtakes America in the fields of economy, cutting-edge technologies and political clout. Chinese have their own philosophy of continue moving on the trajectory of economic and technological development, and avoid big military entanglements, till it becomes formidable politically, economically and militarily. WILL AMERICA ALLOW CHINA TO ACHIEVE PEACEFUL GREATNESS? The answer is, “Definitely Not”. Otherwise also in the annals of history, whenever an established Great Power was challenged or threatened by an emerging power, there was always a high probability of military clash. Thus the famous ‘Thucydides’s Trap’ situation.

Under the guise of Arab Spring phenomenon nearly all significant Muslim countries were targeted, changing the regimes, creating civil strife, destroying economic, social and political structures

After the demise of erstwhile Soviet Union and resultantly dissolution of Warsaw Pact, questions were raised about keeping NATO intact and for what purpose. Those were the times that the concepts like ‘Clash of Civilisation’ by Huntington gained traction, and threats from Islamic and Chinese Civilisations were conceived. Thus not only NATO remained intact, but thoughts of expanding NATO membership got practical manifestation citing the two threats mentioned above along with the fear of revival of Russia.  And since then the military and political minds of the West have been working overtime. And the world witnessed that the US and NATO forces have been actively employed all across the globe.

Under the guise of Arab Spring phenomenon nearly all significant Muslim countries were targeted, changing the regimes, creating civil strife, destroying economic, social and political structures. Sudan, Libya, Nigeria, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan were all in the crosshairs. Only few significant Muslim countries those so far have escaped the wrath of ‘Civilisational Clash’ are the ones that willingly joined the western plans to save their skins like some Middle Eastern Kingdoms, or where the leadership was quick in understanding the machinations against them, like Indonesia and Malaysia. It is yet to be seen if this relief for the remaining Muslim countries is short-term or enduring.

After diluting the political and economic foreign bases (Africa, Asia etc) of China and Russia, and weakening Islamic Region in the name of fighting ‘Terrorism’, NATO and Allies turned their attention towards Revisionist China and Resurgent Russia (as American thinkers call them). They decided to deal with the ‘menace’ before it grows and becomes difficult to tackle. First NATO and European Union started creeping forward wooing Eastern European Countries in the vicinity of Russia to get them into the Western lap. Many of them obliged and Russians started feeling the heat on their borders. Russians reacted violently and reinstated their influence in many areas but are now entrapped in Ukraine as a result of deliberate and well-planned provocation by the West. But it seems that Russians had made good preparations to fight a prolonged and less violent conflict, mostly concentrating on fighting back, so far successfully, the envisaged economic and trade sanctions. Thanks to the unflinching support to Russia by the Chinese, who are well aware of the Grand Plan, and know that they are the next target.

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In this backdrop, that the entire episode of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan should be viewed and analysed. After successfully dragging in Russia into a military conflict in Ukraine, the US now intends to tinker with the Redlines of China. And as their usual strategy they are making others fight their war. Ukrainians are facing the entire brunt of economic and human losses, with west only adding fuel to the fire by pouring in weapons and dollars. They are creating an environment of fear in the other countries in the vicinity and attracting them to join the western block, thus finding more future guinea pigs for the project.

Similar game plan US wishes to unfold in the Indo-Pacific Region, by antagonising China and propping up opposition by countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan etc. Again waging a remotely controlled war sparing itself of the physical casualties and letting other’s blood be shed to furthering US interests. However, dollars and military hardware will keep pouring in to ensure continuity of the deliberately ignited inferno. But, thanks to the resilience and wisdom of old Chinese civilisation, that China has not fallen in this trap. Not yet. However, US has planned another prick in the Himalayas where their troops are having joint exercises with Indian Military, close to the Sino-Indian border in the north.

But India’s foreign and economic policies are too independent for the Americans to goad them into any large scale military conflict with China. However, there are two incentives for India, on which if Americans play their cards wisely, can drag India into the vortex of conflict with China. One is a decisive politico-economic drive against Pakistan to force a permanent solution of Kashmir and secondly to invoke a spirit of revenge to redress the embarrassment and humiliation that India faced in the recent years at the hands of Chinese. However, neither Pakistan, being an atomic power, is a walkover, nor is India that unwise to dance to the tunes of USA. So China may escape the American trap this time, but for how long? American belligerence pitted against Chinese wisdom!

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you                                                                                             Leon Trotsky

Lt. Gen. (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi
Lt. Gen. (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi
The writer is a former defence minister and defence secretary. He has held major command positions in the Pakistan Army.

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