Delegation from China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS)
Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad
September 11, 2017
A 5-member Chinese Delegation from the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), Beijing visited the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) for a bilateral dialogue on recent developments affecting the China-Pakistan relationship. The delegation was headed by Major General (Retd) Zhao Ning, Vice chairman of CIISS and former Defence Attache to the US.
Other members of the delegation included; Major General (Retd) Li Mengyan, senior advisor of CIISS, former Defence Attache to Pakistan; Sr. Col (Retd) Jing Chunlu, Senior Research Fellow, CIISS; Mr. Li Zuyang, Assistant Research Fellow, CIISS and Mr. Dou Erli, Assistant Research Fellow, CIISS. Distinguished guests also included Major General Chen Wenrong, Military, Air and Naval Attaché of China to Pakistan, Sr. Col. Jiang Qingshi, Deputy Military, Naval and air Attache and Col. Zhang Wencheng, Defence Attaché office in Islamabad.
Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman ISSI, welcomed the delegation and stated that both China and Pakistan have strong strategic and political ties which have recently been boosted by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Pakistan values its relationship with China, and jointly, both countries can meet all challenges of which terrorism and negative influence of some external powers are at the forefront.
The delegation was briefed by the ISSI on the situation in Afghanistan, political developments in India, Pakistan’s counter insurgency operations and President Donald Trump’s new South Asia policy.
Major General Ning stated that in the past, the war in Afghanistan was a military-political war, but now, it is a purely military war. Pakistan is an important player and has been on the receiving end of much turmoil and tragedy. With regard to Trump’s new policy, Major General Ning was of the opinion that Afghanistan will be the first test for India in terms of military operations on ground, as well as economic support to the country. He said that there is no doubt that the US wants India and Australia to be the two main anchors in their larger Indo-Pacific strategy.
Major General Mengyan spoke about how India is adopting an extreme approach to resolving issues in South Asia. He stated that the new US policy show cases the US’s unbalanced mentality and means India will interfere further in the Afghan situation. This, he said, is unfair to Pakistan because without Pakistan’s assistance the issues in Afghanistan cannot be resolved.
With regard to the situation in North Korea and the South China Sea, Mr Chunlu said that the possibility of a war is very small, but in case of any military option being exercised there is a high risk of casualties. He said that the US has used the Korean issue to contain China and has enhanced its military presence in the region. The key to solving this issue lies with the US, and the six party talks is the only effective way to solve the DPRK’s nuclear Issue.
Concluding the dialogue, Ambassador Mahmood, Chairman ISSI, reiterated that there was much commonality in the approach of both Pakistan and China towards regional and international and issues and which provide grounds for further cooperation and mutual assistance to tackle common challenges.