Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Non-traditional security threats to Belt & Road Initiative, Pakistan's pivotal role

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The core purpose of BRI initiative is to establish trade and economic ties with Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe, to promote China's economic rebalancing and upgrading, to develop mutual cooperation, and to encourage regional prosperity through investment and technology. In this situation, the United States proposal to establish Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement (TTIP) and later to divide the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have actually tried to block the BRI objectives.

It is worth mentioning here that transnational organized crime has increasingly become rampant and has affected the social stability and economic development of BRI partner countries. According to the United Nations General Assembly, 'three major world catastrophes' are not only hampering the economic and trade relations of BRI countries but also having direct impact of China's national security. Other transnational organized crimes such as the large production of opium and its spread to the world from Afghanistan, religious extremism in Central Asia, transnational economic crimes (specially telecommunication frauds and money laundering), and illegal immigrant crimes are having direct impact on BRI's overall security.

Facing these security challenges by the Beijing, the effective interaction lies in playing the role of a 'pivot' state as BRI initiative is having common areas of interest for Pakistan and India in South Asia. Since China and India have long-standing territorial disputes, Pakistan can play the role of a 'pivot' state which can be ensured by China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. ...

Well-aware of all these risks and security threats, Beijing is not only marshalling all its resources to create a secure and safer context for BRI but also improving its ability to undertake non-traditional security operations such as disaster relief missions and non-combatant evacuations for longer period. At a security level, China is also encouraging other options such as host nation support, law enforcement initiative and private security firms for securing BRI assets and personnel. Whereas, at a strategic level, high-level engagements, economic inducements, and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] are being carried out to decrease the potential risks and competition with other major powers. ...

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