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Showing posts from July 27, 2018


ANDREW SMALL JULY 27, 2018 Editor’s Note: This is the 22nd installment of “Southern (Dis)Comfort,” a series from War on the Rocks and the  Stimson Center . The series seeks to unpack the dynamics of intensifying competition — military, economic, diplomatic — in Southern Asia, principally between China, India, Pakistan, and the United States. Catch up on  the rest of the series . Why should China care about the outcome of this week’s elections in Pakistan? Historically, China has could afford to be indifferent to the civilian political leadership of its  “all weather” friend . The abiding relationship was with the Pakistan Army, and Pakistan’s major political parties all understood the value of maintaining good terms with Beijing. Chinese officials certainly have had their preferences about Pakistani politicians, parties, and political platforms. But this had little impact on the fundamentals of the Sino-Pakistani relationship, which remained overwhelmingly security-centric. In th

Trade war, day 21: ‘A problem with China that’s going to go on for years’ It’s been three weeks since the start of the trade war, and Beijing has today again confirmed that contact with the Americans is frozen. "As far as I know, the two sides don’t have contact  to renew talks," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said, Bloomberg  reports  (paywall). He added, "We have said many times that the premise for negotiations is to be faithful and honor one’s own words.” Flashback:  On June 16, the Chinese Communist Party’s house newspaper, the People’s Daily, published a  scathing editorial  (in Chinese) calling the Trump White House “rude and unreasonable, selfish and headstrong.” This followed the humiliation  of economic envoy Liu He 刘鹤, who  thought he had a deal  to end trade tensions by offering to purchase $70 billion extra in American exports, right before Trump  escalated tariffs  to the $50 billion level, citing the “unfair economic practices” of the  Made in China 2025 initiative . Liu He is now focusing on domestic iss