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Chinese policy in Pakistan, 1969-1979

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Yasmeen, S (1985) Chinese policy in Pakistan, 1969-1979. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of Chinese policy towards Pakistan during
the period from 1969 to 1979. Its central concerns are:
a) to determine the nature of Beijing's policy towards
Islamabad during the period under review, and
b) explain the reasons for the continuity and/or changes
in this policy.
Before addressing itself to these central questions, this thesis
discusses the nature of China's relations with Pakistan during the
first two decades of its existence. After pursuing a "correct"
policy towards Pakistan during the 1950s, it is argued, Beijing moved
to establish a "close" relationship to Islamabad in the wake of the
Sino-Indian border dispute. Pakistan was provided substantial
political, economic and military assistance by China during the
1963-68.
The period from 1969-79, however, this thesis attempts to
demonstrate, did not always witness a continuity of this close
relationship. To this end, it employs a thematic approach. The
issues which have been identified as significant for Pakistan, and on
which the Chinese response has been examined include the Kashmir
.
dispute, the East-Pakistan Crisis and the Indo-Pakistan War ( 1971),
the "New" Pakistan's post-war problems, the Indian nuclear explosion
and Pakistan's proposal for a Nuclear Free Zone in South Asia, the
emergence of a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan (April 1978
December 1979) and Chinese military and economic assistance for
Pakistan.
This is followed by an attempt to explain the reasons for
changes in Chinese policy toward Pakistan in the framework of
Beijing's fear of Soviet encirclement. After the major Sino-Soviet border clashes (March 1969), it is argued, the Chinese Gover:runent
attempted to improve relations with India. As these moves showed
signs of success, with an aim to convince New Delhi of its interest
in rapprochement, Beijing began to limit its support for Islamabad.
This became especially apparent during the East Pakistan crisis.
This policy of limiting Chinese support for Pakistan in order to
facilitate the Sino-Indian normalisation of relations, it is argued,
would have continued, had the Indian gover:runent not elicited Soviet
support to dismember Pakistan towards the end of 19 71 • Prospects of
the Soviet Union emerging as a major external power in the
subcontinent and the concomitant danger of reduced Chinese influence
in the region motivated Beijing to shelve its policy of improving
relations with India and concentrate on supporting the already
acquired but quite weak ally Pakistan. During 1972-75, therefore,
China provided substantial political, military and economic
assistance to Pakistan. In 1976, however, when Sino-Indian
rapprochement got under way Beijing once again reduced the level of
its support for Islamabad. This trend, it is argued, would have
continued had a pro-Soviet regime not come to power in Afghanistan.
The rise of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and
the strengthening of Soviet-Vietnam relations intensified Chinese
fear of encirclement. So after a period of concentrating on Iran as
a pillar of its anti-Soviet policy in West Asia, Beijing began to
rely on Pakistan to "contain" Soviet "expansion". This marked the
beginning o~ an upward trend in Chinese support for Pakistan in 1979
--- a trend which has since continued.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

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Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 05:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:56
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