China, Pakistan, and Russia is expected to become a strong axis in the near future.
Relationships between China and Pakistan have always been brotherly, with both countries involved in exceptional trade ties both economically and socially. China and Pakistan displayed superior relations with regards to military and defense as well. Reportedly, ties between Russia and Pakistan are now strengthening, especially after the Pak-Russia deal on Mi-35s and Su-36s, and a gas pipeline. Furthermore, Russia is edging away from the United States given the disagreements over resolution of Syrian Crisis, and so is China especially after the recent patrolling of U.S. sea vessels in South-China Sea. Another reason to believe that Russia is tilting towards Pakistan is because India is warming up to the States. It would seem that a bipolar world is forming with China, Pakistan, Russia and a host of other major countries of Central Asia on one side, and the U.S., U.K., Europe, Japan, India etc. on the other side. Of course, this transformation does not command peace no matter how it is sliced.
China has always been a traditional ally of Pakistan and has supported her through thick and thin, by all means, against rivaling India, and since Russia was hit by Western sanctions in 2014, she has been on the lookout for other major, strategic partners. One would assume it were India, but Moscow has taken an interest in Islamabad.
China, Pakistan, and Russia Equation
The relationship between Moscow and Islamabad took a turn for the positive when Moscow decided to lift the weapons embargo it had place on Islamabad. Following the removal of weapons embargo, Russia and Pakistan signed a historic military cooperation agreement meant to boost transfer of political and military information, effectively enhancing defense and counter-terrorism efforts between the two. Following the agreement, Russia and Pakistan started collaboration in defense and energy sectors. In addition to importing the Klimov RD-93 engines from Russia for the China-Pak joint production fighter jet, JF-17 Thunder, Islamabad was also reported to have reached a major deal with Moscow involving purchase of Mi-35 combat helicopters. Furthermore, a Russian company, Rostekh Corporation (state-owned) announced its plans to build a gas pipeline in Pakistan that would stretch a whopping 680 miles. The pipeline would cost $2.5 billion and is expected to complete by 2017. This sits in perfectly in the China, Pakistan, and Russia equation.
Moscow has experienced deteriorating relationship with the west because of certain geopolitical shifts. The shifts involve the annexation of Crimea, presence of Russia troops in eastern Ukraine, and of course, the infamous dispute over how to resolve the Syrian Crisis. With Russian ties weakening at the western front, a need for new strategic partnership awakened. China and Russia may become the new super allies in the future owing to a simple logic, “Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend”.
Moscow and Beijing are not fond of meddling in other countries as much as U.S. is. United States’ recent cruise in the disputed waters of South China Sea summoned a warning from Beijing. It is obvious that China was not very happy. That effectively puts relationships of China with the U.S. and U.S.-led countries in a jeopardy, and since the U.S. does not plan on cruising said disputed waters, relationship between the two will continue to worsen. Once again, China has a gap to fill in terms of a new ally. With Moscow and Beijing both opposing U.S. global dominance, and the fact that they are not fond of democracy as ‘defined’ by the west, China and Russia find common grounds to nurture ties. Following are aspects found common in both Russia and China:
- Citizens of China and Russia are raised with nationalism instilled in them, priding over historical and cultural significance of each nation respectively.
- China and Russia support authoritarian capitalism.
- Both countries are not very fond of freedom of speech and the internet.
While China and Russia have historically not been very close, the fact that both are distancing from the United States is bound to tie them together in the future.
Pakistan fills in the equation by being the closest ally of China throughout the ages. China has invested in Pakistan to a great extent, the major and most recent investment being the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is said to be beneficial for the entire Asian region, Russia included. China has also invested a great deal in the nuclear technology of Pakistan, helping her with nuclear infrastructure. Moreover, Pakistan is the biggest importer of weapons and security systems China has. In a latest development, Pakistan and China signed a deal whereby Islamabad will purchase eight Chinese S20 Yuan-class submarines, four of which will be manufactured in Pakistan. China’s friendship with Pakistan, and her eagerness to defend Pakistan’s interest will not fade anytime soon, better yet ever, given the major investments it has in Pakistan. Pakistan is said to grow closer to Russia via China, and directly even. These complex fractions come together to form the China, Pakistan, and Russia equation. China and Russia oppose the idea of U.S. Global Dominance, and Pakistan will soon become the hub of all economic activity towards the Middle East and beyond. With China’s interest in Pakistan, and Russia’s expanding interest, China, Pakistan, and Russia are set to become allies.
Eight F-16s from the US
Reports are circulating on the media and news channels (Indian media) of the United States denying Pakistan more than eight new F-16s, a deal that was made only recently prior to PM Nawaz’s meeting with President Obama during Nawaz’s U.S. visit from 20-23rd October 2015. While the report regarding the quantity of F-16s is factually correct, it is untrue that the U.S. denied further fighters to Pakistan. In fact, the United States was first to offer these jets to Pakistan, without Pakistan even touching the subject. United States basically opened with a warm welcome allowing Pakistan to purchase eight fighter jets. This particular deal was meant to ease prevailing tensions between the two countries amidst all the US-Pak Civil Nuclear Deal fiasco. A secondary agenda this deal was supposed to serve, was portraying United States as a trustworthy military trade partner towards Pakistan. This would in turn divert Pakistan’s attention from looking for weapons suppliers elsewhere, primary on the list of which was Russia. This deal was also meant to deal with allegations on the United States that it was partial towards India. Meanwhile, a Russian military spokesperson openly announced that Islamabad is welcome to buy any weapons, in any quantity from Moscow. This would effectively help Pakistan with increasing counter-terrorism efforts, and national defense. Even more so, this is a sign of growing trust and interest Moscow has in Islamabad.
Russia can match western military technology and produce it in a quantity enough for China, Pakistan, and Russia itself. On top of which Russia is one of the biggest energy suppliers in the world. China is economically stronger than both Pakistan, and Russia combined. Pakistan, while still a developing country, is a strong market in both energy and defense sector, therefore making Pakistan one of the most crucial markets for Russia. China has interests in Pakistan beyond the scope of energy and defense, with massive investments and infrastructural projects. The way things are headed, it would seem an alliance of China, Pakistan, and Russia is almost impossible to ignore. Once formed, the alliance together would be the most formidable within the region and around the globe.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.