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.