The Statesman out of India is reporting that China’s playing the brinksmanship game, threatening that “any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China…” While this is most likely simple saber-rattling, it shows the perception in Beijing that the United States — thanks to its patchwork foreign policy and weak leadership — is weak.
The Chinese are propping up a nation that is actively aiding and abetting US enemies, like American intelligence agencies did during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan — bleeding us dry of money and political will. That Pakistan has been exposed as perfidious is ratcheting up tensions and could mean US forces defang Pakistan-entrenched Taliban and al-Qaida elements without Pakistani iad, which would show that nation the weakness of their leadership, who desperately need foreign, powerful help to remain in power. The US is regarding Pakistan with suspicion, so Islamabad turns to Beijing for help.
That Pakistan is turning to China shows that they, as well as the Chinese don’t understand how precarious Beijing’s economic, hence political and military, clout is…the Chinese strength is a soap bubble: illusory and waiting to pop. They are propping up their GDP with massive building projects — huge city and shopping complexes that stand empty. They have a rapidly escalating wealth disparity between a few cities and the rest of the nation. They have their currency overinflated. All this could collapse if the United States took one sole action: default on our debt to them and close the country to their products.
If they want to play hardball, the best way to hit the Chinese hard is the simplest. Without a steady influx of American cash, China folds like a deck chair.
Unfortunately, we don’t have an administration with the balls to remind them of this.