Podcast: The China-Pakistan Axis

Podcast: The China-Pakistan Axis

from Asia Unbound

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Books on China’s relations with Pakistan are not usually at the top of my reading list, but I decided that it was time to delve into the topic when I encountered Andrew Small’s new book, The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics. Maybe it was the creative and colorful cover that drew me in, but whatever the reason, Andrew, a transatlantic fellow with the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, has converted me to a follower of the relationship. In just two hundred beautifully written pages, Andrew takes the reader behind the scenes of this relatively opaque relationship to explore not only the traditional issues of India and nuclear politics but also the emerging intricacies of the relationship. These include Pakistan’s ability to address Beijing’s concerns over militant Islam, to support China’s role as a global power, and to serve as a linchpin for “One Belt, One Road,” the country’s grand-scale economic integration of Asia and beyond. Without spoiling the book, there are many surprises as well—the minuscule level of Chinese investment in Pakistan, despite the enormous sums announced over the past decade, and China’s support for a strong U.S.-Pakistan military-to-military relationship, among them. Given the ever-growing importance of both China and Pakistan in world affairs, understanding the nuances of their relationship should matter to people well beyond the narrow realm of Asia scholars and analysts. Andrew’s book is a brilliant and bargain tutorial.

Elizabeth C. Economy

C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies