China likely to give Pakistan military aid


Indian media claimed on Monday that China was likely to supply military aid to Pakistan after the operation to kill al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had created mistrust between Washington and Islamabad.
According to a report by Indian newspaper The Times of India, by multiplying its military attacks on Pakistani territory and accusing Islamabad of harbouring bin Laden, the Obama administration aimed to penetrate China’s sphere of influence. However, Beijing was quick to supply Islamabad with an air arsenal and deliver an ultimatum to Washington: any attack on Pakistan would be considered an unfriendly attack against China, said the report.
According to Pakistani diplomatic sources cited by The Times of India, China had “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China”. This ultimatum was reportedly delivered at the May 9 China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, where the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.
The report went on to state that Chinese warnings were implicitly backed up by the nation’s nuclear missiles, including an estimated 66 intercontinental ballistic missiles, some capable of striking the United States, plus 118 intermediate-range missiles, 36 submarine-launched missiles, and numerous shorter-range systems.
Support from China was seen by regional observers as critically important for Pakistan as a means to counter pressure from the US or India, said the report. The report said that the blunt warning given by the Chinese to Washington represented the first known strategic ultimatum received by the US in half a century, going back to Soviet warnings during the Berlin crisis of 1958-1961, and indicated the grave danger of general war growing out of the US-Pakistan confrontation.
According to The Times of India, responding to reports that China had asked the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty in the aftermath of the bin Laden operation, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jiang Yu used a May 19 press briefing to state Beijing’s categorical demand that the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected”.