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August 8, 2011

China conditions India’s NSG membership to Pakistan’s entry

The US wants to pilot India’s membership to the four sensitive technologies export control regimes including the NSG which has the most stringent controls. The Indo-US joint statement during US President Barack Obama’s confirmed this tactic–however the Indo-US 123 deal itself is the doldrums. While the US-India deal languishes in paperwork, China has built four Nuclear reactors in Pakistan.

China has taken a principled stand on new members to the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). It is proposing a “criteria based’ admission criteria, rather than an exception based one. This is clearly meant to jeopardise the Bharati admission into the NSG by conditioning it to the admission of Pakistan.

China has questioned India’s membership proposal before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on grounds that an exception should not be made for just one country. Beijing is transparent in its intentions. In a clear attempt to build a case for Islamabad, Beijing has informed the 46-member NSG grouping that all potential candidates must be considered for membership–leaving the Bharati admission in the doldrums.

At the June 23-24 meeting of the NSG at Noordwijk in the Netherlands, the Bharati admission was challenged in certain quarters. There is concern over India’s membership given the fact that that it is not a signatory to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). Some of the NSG countries are urging the US, France and UK to reassess the impact this may have on the non-proliferation regime.

China that took a totally different line and asked for rules of membership to be framed for all potential candidates than make an exception for India. This is a pointed reference to Pakistan. It is one of the two remaining nuclear powers that have not signed the NPT. The Chinese emphasis was aimed at benefiting Pakistan and complicates India’s case.

Source: Rupee News

http://rupeenews.com/?p=37368

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August 7, 2011

Pak aspiring to send astronaut aboard Chinese spacecraft

Pakistan is keen to send an astronaut on board a Chinese spacecraft, a top diplomat has said as the two countries are set to launch a Pakistani satellite soon.

“It is our natural aspiration that a Pakistani astronaut aboard a Chinese spacecraft flies to the space,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan said ahead of the launch of Paksat-1R.

“This is possible because Pakistan and China enjoy relations of trust and confidence,” he said.

The Pakistan Communication Satellite, Paksat-1R is due to be launched from Chinese satellite launching site located at Xichang city in the second week of August, depending on weather conditions.

Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1 which is going to complete its useful life in 2011.

“Launching of a communication satellite is going to be a new symbolic development in Pakistan-China relations, as this will broaden the horizons of our cooperation,” Mr. Khan was quoted as saying by the official APP news agency.

He said, during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan in December last year, the two governments had decided to deepen cooperation in space, science and technology.

“Paksat-1R, as the satellite is called, is a big step in that direction. It will revolutionise the use of broadband Internet, digital television broadcasting and mobile telephony; spur our economy; and strengthen the education and health sectors,” he said.

“Such cooperation with China also helps us move towards self-reliance,” he said adding that Pakistan was looking at cooperation with China in remote sensing satellites as well.

Source: The Hindu (India)

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2333631.ece

August 7, 2011

Who is responsible for the terror in West China?

A leaf falls anywhere, and even before it hits the ground, the media begins harping on the same old stale theme. The blame game begins with a vengeance to demonize and mis-characterize. The Samjhota Expres was basedon Pakistan and turned out to be the work of the Indian Army’s serving colonel Prohit. The Malegaon bombs were blamed on Pakistan and investigations by Karkora showed a Hinduvata connection. The Norweigan king first blamed Islam for the Christian terrorists. Early media reports about the carnage in China di the usual–blame Pakistan. However a large body of evidence has now begun to emerge about the terror bombings in China. The Chinese media is reporting (http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/08/chinas-xinjiang-terrorism-claim-questioned/) that there is no evidence that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan.

  • Does the ETM still exist? Most analysts are skeptical that the body exists as a viable movement.
  • Still, many observers doubt the attack was a blow from abroad by ETIM, which they said was struggling, in disarray, and even outright defunct. Reuters
  • “All conversations I have had with people from China and Pakistan suggest a high degree of skepticism about the real viability of ETIM,” said Andrew Small, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund think tank in Brussels who studies China’s ties with Pakistan and often visits both countries.  Reuters
  • “I don’t believe that China really sees (ETIM) as a credible threat. Of course, they would always want to blame these things on foreign elements to deflect from domestic problems,” he said. Reuters

The China Digital Times headlines a story with the title “China’s Xinjiang ‘Terrorism’ Claim Questioned”

The Digital Times says that while the media does” continue to blame Pakistan-trained terrorists for lethal attacks in Xinjiang last weekend, a number of experts have questioned both claims of international involvement and China’s sincerity in making them.”

The Global Post reports that the Chinese Foreing Ministry has downplayed the Pakistani link.

  • China’s Foreign Ministrypraised Pakistan as a firm partner against terror and religious extremism Wednesday, Reuters reported.
  • The official statement downplayed the risk that China’s relationship with Pakistan might be strained by the belief that recent terrorist attacks in the restive Chinese province of Xinjiang are linked to groups based in Pakistan, the news agency said.
  • But Reuters reported that the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ma Zhaoxu, explicitly praised Islamabad in an apparent effort to “quash any notion of a rift over the attack in Xinjiang.”

The Digital Times asks many question about the bombs. It quotes the early reports from the “Global Times” in describing the situation in Xinjiang “Despite the government’s apparent good intentions at social engineering and its belief that education and improved living standard will fill a void, the region is a roiling cauldron filled with historic grievances and imported rage from the extremist Muslim world.”

  • The Global Times says “Terrorist groups such as the WUG and ETIM, as well as separatist groups within China, have never stopped sabotaging attempts to improve things,” said Li Wei, director of the Anti-Terrorism Institute at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
  • The Global Times says that “The 18 Uyghur men who attacked the police station in Hotan were reported to have spoken with an accent unfamiliar in Xinjiang. They also were reported to have raised a “jihadist flag” on the roof of the station. The attacks in Kashi were said to be linked to terrorist groups in Pakistan”.

The China Daily in its latest article does not mention Pakistan at all–focusing on internal malcontents which would be eliminated if Beijing focused ont he genuine complaints of the ethnicities.

  • To ensure the safety and security of the people, the fight against terrorists has to be intensified in accordance with law. And there should be no leniency.

Many international agencies are backing away from earlier claims about the link to Pakistan.

  • “The ETIM seems to have faded out with a whimper, rather than a bang,” Andrew McGregor, a Toronto-based security analyst wrote in a Jamestown Foundation report last year. Reuters
  • “Xinjiang faces some incidents that are terror attacks, but some are more like ethnic hate crimes,” said Jiang Zhaoyong, a Beijing-based commentator and former reporter who has studied Xinjiang for many years and often travelled there. Reuters

However Chinese and international papers like The China Times are questioning the knee jerk reaction “Such explanations are not only embraced by Chinese authorities and state media; an op-ed in The Hindu has also emphasised cross-border links and ETIM involvement in “Beijing’s increasing jihadist challenge”:

  • Many international news sources are now questioning the basis of Knew jerk reaction, and the hyper reaction in the Bharati perss. “According to Al Jazeera English, however, many experts are skeptical of ETIM’s part in the attacks, and even its continued existence:
  • Analysts and Uighur activists confirm that Chinese Muslim activists have been to Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but say there is no evidence that they are being trained to carry out attacks in China.
  • “I don’t think there is any reason to assume that any organization is orchestrating. Barring any evidence, it’s ridiculous to make such a claim,” Dru Gladney, an expert on Xinjiang politics at the US-based Pacific Basin Institute, said.
  • In fact, some experts even question whether the ETIM is still active.
  • “I have seen no irrefutable evidence that ETIM still exists … or that it is responsible for the recent round of violence,” Gardner Bovingdon, a professor of Central Asian studies at Indiana University, said.

The skepticism is not limited to Middle Eastern Newspapers. Mainstream news services like Reuters are also questioning the claim about the Pakistani connection:

  • The biggest threat to China’s grip on its ethnically divided far western frontier comes from homegrown anger exploding in violence, not from Pakistan-based terrorists officials have blamed for the latest bloodshed.
  • “All conversations I have had with people from China and Pakistan suggest a high degree of skepticism about the real viability of ETIM,” said Andrew Small, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund think tank in Brussels who studies China’s ties with Pakistan and often visits both countries.
  • “I don’t believe that China really sees (ETIM) as a credible threat. Of course, they would always want to blame these things on foreign elements to deflect from domestic problems,” he said ….
  • Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Pakistani expert, said Chinese officials told him there were only between 30 and 80 Uighur militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas ….
  • “The ETIM seems to have faded out with a whimper, rather than a bang,” Andrew McGregor, a Toronto-based security analyst wrote in a Jamestown Foundation report last year ….
  • “The ETIM has a very narrow support and sympathizer base, and most of its operatives have been killed or captured by the Chinese,” said Rohan Gunaratna, an expert on terrorism at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

The New York Times proxies in Pakistan (Tribune), as well as Dawn and the Daily Times continue to harp on the old themes. The CIA and RAW have been very active in the region. It is not outside the realm of possibility that there are attempts to sabotage the Pakistan-China “All weather friendship”.

Chinese investments and projects in the country amounted to US$ 25 billion which were multiplying with each passing day.

Source : Rupee News