I borrow the title from Parag Khanna book, “The Future is Asian”
The established order is in transition at all three levels ie global, regional as well as internal (of Pakistan). At global level power is shifting from West to East and established super power is being challenged by an emerging power. At regional level, new alignments are coming up and CPEC is being seen as harbinger of change as well as turmoil. At internal level, Pakistan having overcome menace of terrorism is struggling for political and economic stability. At the grand strategy level rise of China is being contested. From status of a strategic competitor, China has risen to strategic rival for the US. The US has roled out one after another strategies and initiatives to contain China. The efforts commenced in 1951 with Island Strategy. Followed by Rebalancing Strategy, Pivot to Asia Strategy and Quad Strategy. Lately the US has announced Indo-Pacific Strategy. Its interesting to follow this contestation. Through Indo-Pacific Strategy, the US in my view is transiting from Trans-Atlantic Orientation to Trans-Pacific orientation. Such a reorientation is seemingly aimed at countering China’s moves in South China Sea (SCS) and be in a position to affect long, circuitous and vulnerable sea lines of communication (SLOCs) of China through SCS and Pacific. Thus importance of CPEC as alternate SLOCs for China. Rise of Asia in general and rise of China in particular is being contested tooth and nail. While future is of Asia as hypothesized by Parag Khanna, albiet not free of cost. Above map shows Four Triangles of Conflict. All these triangles are located in Asia. Three of these triangles have direct consequences for Pakistan and CPEC. Both extremities of CPEC and one of its shoulders are in flux. IOK next to start of CPEC is hot and so is Iran next to end of CPEC ie Gawadar. In the middle a troubled Afghanistan can jeopardise security of CPEC. The US is directly involved in creating turmoil on one extreme of CPEC ie Iran, however, US’ collusion with India in fomenting trouble in IOK is a matter of speculation. However, Indian actions in IOK provide an opportunity to the US. Any of the three triangles succeeding in favour of US/ India will have serious repercussions for CPEC, Pakistan and rise of China. Apparently Pakistan is once again being drawn into centre stage of rivalry of two giants. However, I feel Pakistan has greater prospects if we stand (firmly) by the waxing giant ie China rather than the waning one ie US.
6 thoughts on “Turmoil is Asian”
Good assessment. But China , USA and India will continue to act rationally under compulsive economic interdependence relations despite simmering attitude towards each other. Peace is the best bet in 21 st century. This is because of the following facts:
A. All leadership is rational and will not jeopardize future of their people.
B. They cannot survive without each other.
C. People of these countries have more say in interstate relations and dominate decisions of respective states.
Thucydides trap is an established reality. Out of 15 times of its play 11 times saw war. This time round US and China should avoid war but cannot be ruled out. War perse not the one that we perceive. War has taken new shape and form
Expecting rationality from Trump or, for that matter. Modi may not be prudent…
The economic shove displayed by USA towards China in last 18 months is far from rational behaviour. It’s a deliberate act of economic aggression towards a rising and contesting economic might. In my opinion USA is trying to delay the rise of China as its not possible to stop it by denying markets and opportunities. The advantage with USA is being master of an established world order. Eventually, the eastern world order would be established, AIIB, SCO, belt and road initiatives and other economic measures all are steps to a shifting world order. The tectonic shift is slow but steady. Future belongs to China, all pundits have talked about it. When it comes is a matter of time…