This we know.
It has been speculated upon in open-source intelligence circles for years. So, there is little surprise for the rest of the world when it hears of China’s first major foray in its new role as a Superpower.
Americans might be surprised. That is, if they even hear about it before the Juarez, Mexico base goes live.
BEIJING: China has signaled it wants to go the US way and set up military bases in overseas locations that would possibly include Pakistan. The obvious purpose would be to exert pressure on India as well as counter US influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Well, why not?
China already pays for our military imperialism by loaning us the money to play big, bad soldier. So, why shouldn’t the world’s new Superpower cut to the chase and open their own bases?
"It is baseless to say that we will not set up any military bases in future because we have never sent troops abroad," an article published on Thursday at a Chinese government website said. "It is our right," the article said and went on to suggest that it would be done in the neighborhood, possibly Pakistan.
"As for the military aspect, we should be able to conduct the retaliatory attack within the country or at the neighboring area of our potential enemies. We should also be able to put pressure on the potential enemies’ overseas interests," it said.
A military base in Pakistan will also help China keep a check on Muslim Uighur separatists fighting for an independent nation in its western region of Xingjian, which borders the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Beijing recently signed an agreement with the local government of NWFP in order to keep a close watch on the movement of Uighur ultras.
But don’t let me put words into China’s mouth. The Chinese are quite capable of speaking for themselves:
Setting up overseas military bases is not an idea we have to shun; on the contrary, it is our right. Bases established by other countries appear to be used to protect their overseas rights and interests. As long as the bases are set up in line with international laws and regulations, they are legal ones. But if the bases are established to harm other countries, their existence becomes illegal and they are likely to be opposed by other countries.
China develops its military force with a theme of peace in mind. Therefore, we can either develop military forces domestically to maintain peace, or place the forces abroad as long as we take world peace as the ultimate goal. In the 1950s, the Korean War enflamed the border of China. China had no option but to call up volunteer soldiers to fight against the overseas intervention in its northern neighbor. Many of the volunteer soldiers remained in North Korea for years after the end of the Korean war to safeguard the peace of the two countries. Finally, the troops withdrew from the peninsular where the stability was regained.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China dispatched troops abroad under the invitation of the foreign countries as long as their requests are in line with our security interests, good to resume regional stability and benefit for the world peace process. So it is baseless to say that we will not set up any military bases in future because we have never sent troops abroad.
We need to know the military bases are not set up in view of the previous practices but are established in accordance with China’s interests as well as world peace. We can speak the point clearly even though to set up overseas military bases is not yet on agenda. It is wrong for us to believe we have no rights to set up the bases abroad.
So, how does the rest of the world view it? Generally, it is seen as healthy for the relationships between the world’s most powerful nations. While the idea of Chinese troop bases may be sensitive to countries like the US, which have already set up military bases abroad, there’s always room for more.
Pakistan, of course, is already triangulating the inherent geopolitical anxiety about the situation. Here’s what our nuclear-capable ally in the region has to say:
Islamabad — China has signaled that it wants to establish military bases overseas, following US steps to portray India as a regional super power.
An article posted on a Chinese government website said that China should be capable of counter attacking its enemy countries from the country as well as from neighboring countries. “We should also be able to put pressure on the potential enemies’ overseas interests.”
Defence analysts say China is concerned over the massive arms build up by India with the help of the United States. The Chinese move, which rarely reacts to foreign threats will certainly send a clear message to forces in the region that China will not remain unconcerned over the threats being posed by India.
China which has strategic military and economic partnership with Pakistan has always come to Pakistan’s aid and helped it to maintain a balance of power in the region.
China has helped Pakistan in modernization of its armed forces by supplying latest fighter planes and frigates besides forging close partnership between the armies of the two countries.
Needless to say, The Cato Institute is having a cow over this "revolting development:"
The lay reader should be clear that the United States does not look favorably on China’s developing the ability to guarantee its own smooth trading; we like having the leverage to determine, ultimately,whether we will allow foreign countries to trade.
The Chinese do not need to do anything to… prevent a foreign invasion of China. So what’s left is protecting Chinese people and money overseas; wresting control of China’s sea lines of communication from the United States; and preventing U.S. intervention in ways that would “harm the unity of the country.”
The piece really goes out of its way to make clear that this is all about countering American military power.
You go, China.
There’s a new kid on the block, folks.
Not yet crossposted at my blog : 48 Hours