Counter-Terrorism: China Versus the Taliban

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August 14, 2007: China and Pakistan has signed a formal agreement covering security arrangements for the 4,000 Chinese citizens working in Pakistan. What this has done is make China a major player in the war against al Qaeda inside Pakistan.

China is a major supplier of military technology to Pakistan, but most of the Chinese in Pakistan are working on major industrial and infrastructure projects. Currently, 7,000 Pakistani military and police personnel protect Chinese working inside Pakistan. In addition, there are a small, but growing, number of Chinese security personnel. The Chinese security detachment works with the Chinese community in Pakistan, to make sure there are no misunderstandings about the need for tight security. The Chinese security personnel also advise the Pakistanis on Chinese security needs, and help get needed technical equipment brought in from China. The major danger to Chinese in Pakistan is Islamic terrorists. Most of these are al Qaeda, and local Islamic radicals (mostly Taliban) who want Pakistan run by a religious dictatorship. Since China has come down hard on real, or perceived, Islamic radicalism at home, China is seen by Pakistani Islamic radicals as "foreign devils" and "enemies of Islam." The Islamic radicals recognize that China is crucial to maintaining Pakistani military and police power, and keeping the current government in power. So there are more attacks on Chinese by Pakistani Islamic radicals.

All this Chinese counter-terror work is done very quietly, and covertly. That may keep it out of the Western press, but the Chinese are increasingly tagged as major bad guys by the Islamic media, especially the outlets that are pro-radical.

 


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