University of Tasmania
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Chinese policy in Pakistan, 1969-1979

posted on 2023-05-26, 01:53 authored by Yasmeen, S
This thesis is a study of Chinese policy towards Pakistan during the period from 1969 to 1979. Its central concerns are: a) to determine the nature of Beijing's policy towards Islamabad during the period under review, and b) explain the reasons for the continuity and/or changes in this policy. Before addressing itself to these central questions, this thesis discusses the nature of China's relations with Pakistan during the first two decades of its existence. After pursuing a \correct\" policy towards Pakistan during the 1950s it is argued Beijing moved to establish a \"close\" relationship to Islamabad in the wake of the Sino-Indian border dispute. Pakistan was provided substantial political economic and military assistance by China during the 1963-68. The period from 1969-79 however this thesis attempts to demonstrate did not always witness a continuity of this close relationship. To this end it employs a thematic approach. The issues which have been identified as significant for Pakistan and on which the Chinese response has been examined include the Kashmir . dispute the East-Pakistan Crisis and the Indo-Pakistan War ( 1971) the \"New\" Pakistan's post-war problems the Indian nuclear explosion and Pakistan's proposal for a Nuclear Free Zone in South Asia the emergence of a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan (April 1978 December 1979) and Chinese military and economic assistance for Pakistan. This is followed by an attempt to explain the reasons for changes in Chinese policy toward Pakistan in the framework of Beijing's fear of Soviet encirclement. After the major Sino-Soviet border clashes (March 1969) it is argued the Chinese Gover:runent attempted to improve relations with India. As these moves showed signs of success with an aim to convince New Delhi of its interest in rapprochement Beijing began to limit its support for Islamabad. This became especially apparent during the East Pakistan crisis. This policy of limiting Chinese support for Pakistan in order to facilitate the Sino-Indian normalisation of relations it is argued would have continued had the Indian gover:runent not elicited Soviet support to dismember Pakistan towards the end of 19 71 ‚Äö Prospects of the Soviet Union emerging as a major external power in the subcontinent and the concomitant danger of reduced Chinese influence in the region motivated Beijing to shelve its policy of improving relations with India and concentrate on supporting the already acquired but quite weak ally Pakistan. During 1972-75 therefore China provided substantial political military and economic assistance to Pakistan. In 1976 however when Sino-Indian rapprochement got under way Beijing once again reduced the level of its support for Islamabad. This trend it is argued would have continued had a pro-Soviet regime not come to power in Afghanistan. The rise of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and the strengthening of Soviet-Vietnam relations intensified Chinese fear of encirclement. So after a period of concentrating on Iran as a pillar of its anti-Soviet policy in West Asia Beijing began to rely on Pakistan to \"contain\" Soviet \"expansion\". This marked the beginning o~ an upward trend in Chinese support for Pakistan in 1979 --- a trend which has since continued."


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