What Pakistan is to India, North Korea is to America and China wants status quo
North Korea and Pakistan are collaborators when it comes to acquiring and proliferating nuclear and ballistic missile technology clandestinely and both these nations have publicly threatened their respective neighbors with a nuclear strike regularly.
Pakistan and North Korea are not a democratic country and the military is the number one institution that sucks all their resources and it is supported and sustained by China. The fact is China has the money and the resources to support all the bad habits of these two failed nations by overlooking Pakistan’s support of Islamic terrorism in India and Afghanistan and to keep America and Japan on their toes by giving just enough support for the regime in Pyongyang to survive.
One has to admit there are lots of familiarities between these two rogue nations and China is the factor that feeds them and sustains them.
China the world’s second-largest economy and last communist power country
China is not only a very big country but also over the years due to its sound economic policies is now a global economic powerhouse and has a maximum number of billionaires. China has the world’s largest military with some of the most advanced weaponry at hands making it the replacement of the old Soviet Union which fell in the late 1980s and a direct competitor of U.S. But there was one difference between the erstwhile Soviet Union and China and that is economic policy which means it now has capitals to influence policy of other nations and Pakistan and North Korea are its prime examples.
China and Pakistan
Both India and Pakistan share the border with our eastern giant and in 1962 we went to war with that giant and were beaten badly because we were not prepared politically and militarily. It was a sad time for a young nation that emerged from the shadows of slavery after one thousand years. Since then we never had any serious hostility with China except the unresolved border issues. But with Pakistan, we had to fight four wars since partition and for the last thirty years, we continually have to endure asymmetrical warfare in the Kashmir Valley which is have claimed the lives of thousands of security personals and civilians plus other terror attacks such as the attack on our Parliament and 26/11 Mumbai strike. However, the cost of maintaining a large army and Para-Military presence in that region takes a chunk out of our GDP but it is not only important it is necessary. So why China would ever want the problem between India and Pakistan resolved?
Right now the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going full steam ahead so China can have access to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz where about twenty percent of the world's petroleum passes through the strait and this area will play a vital role in the geo politics of the future because of its strategic location for international trade. CPEC is supposed to bring a lot of prosperity to Pakistan but many Pakistanis would agree that they are now simply surrendering and becoming the slave to China but the Generals know better and as long as their bank accounts are regularly replenished, who cares. But India cares because the route runs through the disputed territory of Pakistan occupied Kashmir which legally belongs to India and through the largest and the richest Pakistani province Baluchistan where its natives are denied their rights and butchered by Pak state security and hired nonstate actors.
So why not keep India and Pakistan busy with each other as the trucks and goods train will roll back and forth from the Gwadar port in Baluchistan through the Karakoram Range and into China. Why change the status quo.
China and North Korea
The relationship between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has been in place when both these countries got its independence after the end of Second World War. Both the countries were ruled by dictators and their words became the law of the land. It did not matter if people had any food as both the communist nations followed the principals of “Songun Chongch'i” which in Korean means military first. Although after the death of Chairman Mao Tse Tung China got into an aggressive economic recovery program but in North Korea, it seems time stood still. Kim Il Sung ruled for forty-six years and after him, his son Kim Jong-il took over and now this Orwellian state is ruled by the grandson Kim Jong-Un.
A lot of people may not know this but the Korean War never actually ended and it is still the world’s longest cease-fire agreement on the 38th parallel line. The Americans are still there and yes the fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed and the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea was created. But no peace treaty was signed, and the two Koreas along with America are technically still at war where tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers also had fought and died. America is still an ally of North Korea and China still gives the occasional support to North Korea but economic realities may force China to rethink its strategy
America has just sent its powerful navel armada and one can call it saber rattling consisting of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle group to the Korean Peninsula and the Chinese are calling for restraint. However, on the other hand, they are diplomatically sympathetic to America issuing statement of condemnation when the North tested its ballistic missiles. This way they score economic points and North Korea will still be on the map.
What is the end game because rules change?
Pakistan recently said it would declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province because CPEC runs through this area but India still maintains that Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and legally still an integral part of the country forcefully occupied. The people in this region and in Baluchistan do not share good relations to put it lightly with the Punjabi and Urdu speaking Sunni Muslim majority because their resources are taken forcefully with no benefit to the local populace. People of Both Korea’s would love to reunite as a country but China would lose an important proxy in that region (also Japan is developing its military strength) which from time to time can hold the world to ransom and same can be said about Pakistan. For China, Pakistan and North Korea are the counterbalances against India and America but the question is for how long. Both countries have an itchy trigger finger and both survive under the blanket of its nuclear deterrence, but again for how long.
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Could the attack dog turn on its own master one day?
Already China faces terror attacks in its Uyghur province which is dominated by Muslims of Turkic lineage and supported by terror groups operating in Pakistan. With North Korea, if the west puts the squeeze on them and China allows it, it would not come as a surprise if DRPK turns on China. It’s unlikely but still possible. However, until then China will use Pakistan against India and North Korea against America as its proxy to maintain status quo in the region.