Even as outrage against Pakistan’s terror record has been growing among the global diplomatic community in the last few years, China has maintained a strange silence in this regard. Not only this, Beijing has stalled India’s bid to get dreaded Pakistani terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar declared as international terrorist by the United Nations. However, the recent killings of two Chinese nationals in Pakistan has presented a reality check moment for China. And, it seems, this has been acknowledged by Chinese state media, Global Times as well.
An article published by Global Times on Tuesday said, ” Pakistan is known for its poor security record, and has long been a hotbed of international terrorism. This may pose a severe threat to China’s projects in the region.”
The two Chinese nationals were kidnapped in Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province and allegedly killed by the Islamic State (IS) last week. While exact reasons of the killing has not yet been known, the article by Zhao Gancheng, director of Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, warns “As an increasing number of Chinese enterprises are going global, the likelihood that China falls victim to international terrorist forces is correspondingly rising. With the advancement of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a large number of Chinese engineers, workers and citizens are expected to participate in building infrastructure and other economic projects in countries along the route, and thus may be exposed to higher security risks.”
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 14, 2017
The article notes that Pakistan is one of the worst terror hit states and it “may see a higher number of security incident.” It further says, “It is a tough task for Beijing to strike a balance between security and the need to go global. With the advancement of the Belt and Road initiative and enhanced regional connectivity, China is expected to put more efforts into relevant security issues. Things will be better if the Chinese government can forge close links and have effective communications with its local partners.”
The Chinese media rap for Pakistan comes days after China President Xi Jinping snubbed its all-weather ally at the SCO summit in Astana. The Chinese President skipped a customary meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the SCO summit after the murder of the two Chinese teachers in Balochistan, PTI reported.