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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 10-Jun-2017
10-Jun-17 World View -- Execution of two of China's citizens in Pakistan raises concerns about CPEC

Web Log - June, 2017

10-Jun-17 World View -- Execution of two of China's citizens in Pakistan raises concerns about CPEC

Execution of Chinese citizens blamed on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Two Chinese citizens in Pakistan executed ten days after being abducted

Pictures of Chinese couple that were executed by LeJA in Pakistan on Thursday, after being kidnapped on May 24
Pictures of Chinese couple that were executed by LeJA in Pakistan on Thursday, after being kidnapped on May 24

With thousands of workers and families from China pouring into Pakistan to work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), security for the Chinese communities is becoming an increasing concern.

On May 24, gunmen dressed as police stopped a car containing two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman, who were teaching Mandarin at a private language school in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's restive Balochistan province. At the same time, they were studying the Urdu language at the school.

On Friday, a press release issued by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) stated that the two Chinese citizens had been executed. The group also released a video, which showed two bodies shot and bleeding on some grassy ground.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing, "Pakistan pays great attention to the protection of Chinese citizens in the institutions there and made great efforts for their security."

Hua insisted that the abduction and killings were unrelated to CPEC. Nonetheless, following the abduction, 11 Chinese nationals living in the town where the abduction occurred were flown to Karachi, and then back to China.

Pakistani media have been ordered not to report on the killings of the Chinese citizens, saying that such reports would be "disrespectful" to the Chinese. But some have evaded the rules by republishing stories from international news wires. Newsweek Pakistan / AFP and Express Tribune - Pakistan / Reuters and Dawn (Pakistan, 3-Jun) and Hindustan Times

Execution of Chinese citizens blamed on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)

The kidnapping and execution of the two Chinese nationals was claimed by ISIS, but as usual ISIS is taking credit for something it had nothing to do with. As ISIS gets closer and closer to defeat in Iraq and Syria, putting out press releases taking credit for attacks around the world seems to be the only thing left it can do.

There's little doubt that the perpetrators the Al Alami offshoot of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJA), which has sworn allegiance to ISIS. LeJ is a terror group that has vowed to exterminate all Shias in Pakistan, and has carried out numerous terrorist actions targeting Shias and Sufis. In November, LeJA attacked a police training facility in Quetta, killing 61 people, mostly fresh police recruits.

The bad news for China is that LeJ, through its offshoot LeJA, is now apparently turning its attention from slaughtering Shias and Sufis to the slaughter of thousands of Chinese workers and families who have come to Balochistan to work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Since the May 24 abduction, Pakistani and Chinese authorities had been trying to rescue the hostages. On Thursday, Pakistan's military released details of an operation that took place from June 1-3 in a remote cave system in Mastung, a town north of Quetta. According to the army, the operation killed 12 "hardcore terrorists, including two suicide bombers." Pakistani authorities confirmed that the killed terrorists belonged to LeJA, and said "The operation, carried out from June 1 to 3, successfully denied the establishment of any direct or indirect IS-organized infrastructure in Pakistan."

The Pakistani security forces destroyed an explosives facility inside a cave and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including 50 kilograms of explosives, three suicide jackets, 18 grenades, six rocket launchers, four light machine guns,18 small machine guns, four sniper rifles, 38 communication sets and ammunition of various types.

During the Mastung operation, the vehicle used in the kidnapping of the Chinese citizens was found, but not the Chinese citizens themselves.

Several hours after the details of the Mastung operation were released, the ISIS announcement of the death of the two Chinese appeared. Dawn (Pakistan, 8-Jun) and CNN and Dawn (Pakistan)

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Concerns grow about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Over 10-20 years, at a cost of $46 billion, CPEC will supposedly build a network of roads, railways and energy pipelines aiming to connect western Chinese cities, starting from China's easternmost city Kashgar in Xinjiang province, to the sea port in Gwadar on the Indian Ocean in Balochistan province in southern Pakistan. It will have both economic and military components. Power generation, transport, commerce, R&D and the defense of Pakistan all will be increasingly tied to Chinese investment, supplies and interests.

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province, but it's claimed by its population, mostly from the Baloch ethnic group, is marginalized and economically disfavored. The Baloch ethnic group has been opposed to CPEC from the beginning. Balochs are opposed because the project will result in an inflow of more than 600,000 Chinese people -- Chinese workers and their families -- diluting that Baloch population. Baloch activists claim that whatever economic benefits the CPEC project will bring to Pakistan, most of the benefits will go to the favored Punjab province. The CPEC project will use up all of Balochistan's natural resources, and the Baloch people will get nothing from it.

It's not just Balochs who are opposing it. According to S. Akbar Zaidi, a leading Pakistani economist, is warning that "Another East India Company is in the offing." The East India Company was a British business organization that used economic power to effectively colonize the Indian subcontinent for centuries.

According to Zaidi, Pakistan is prostrating itself to China:

"From the influence of American imperialism for most of its existence, Pakistan gave way to Saudi intrusion in domestic, cultural and social affairs, and now has prostrated itself in front of Chinese imperial designs. ...

Pakistanís obsession with China and CPEC bodes ill for any sort of rapprochement between India and Pakistan unless, of course, only if the Chinese initiate such moves, and if it fits into their grand design in the region. With China taking over Pakistan, providing it with undisclosed amount of investments, any argument of increasing trade and economic cooperation between India and Pakistan lose all urgency. When you have China, who needs India?"

The execution of the two Chinese citizens is raising security concerns among the Chinese as well.

Navy vessels from the Peopleís Liberation Army have been providing security escorts to Chinese commercial vessels since November, when they began docking at Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is the southern end of the CPEC infrastructure. In the future, the port will house a detachment of PLA marines, making it Chinaís second overseas military base after Djibouti. Hindustan Times and South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 10-Jun-17 World View -- Execution of two of China's citizens in Pakistan raises concerns about CPEC thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (10-Jun-2017) Permanent Link
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