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John Bolton: US Can't Push Pakistan; China Can and Should

John Bolton: US Can't Push Pakistan; China Can and Should
Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:02 AM

Pakistan is the key to keeping peace in Afghanistan, and China is the key to keeping Pakistan under control, since it's to blame for the current predicament in the first place, former UN ambassador John Bolton wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.

The facts about Pakistan, according to Bolton: It harbors terrorists; it has around 100 nukes; it has an incompetent and/or corrupt civilian government; it has a strong military that's getting more radicalized by the day.

That adds up to trouble if the U.S. pushes too hard.

"Putting too much pressure on Pakistan risks further destabilizing the already volatile country, tipping it into the hands of domestic radical Islamicists, who grow stronger by the day," Bolton wrote in the WSJ. "In this unstable environment, blunt pressure by the U.S.—and, by inference, India — could backfire."

Much like North Korea, China is the key to keeping the house of cards from collapsing in Pakistan, Bolton writes.

"If American pressure were enough to compel Pakistan to act decisively against the terrorists within its borders, that would have happened long ago," Bolton wrote. "What President Trump needs is a China component to his nascent South Asia policy, holding Beijing accountable for the misdeeds that helped create the current strategic dangers.

"Of all the external actors, China bears primary responsibility for Pakistan's and North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles," Bolton writes.

China floated Pakistan — and North Korea — many platforms of assistance in building a nuclear arsenal; in Pakistan to hedge against India; in North Korea to hedge against the West, Bolton writes.

Time for China to pay the piper, Bolton writes.

"It must, therefore, be core American policy to hold China to account, even belatedly. The U.S. can use its leverage to induce China to join the world in telling Pakistan it must sever ties with terrorists and close their sanctuaries. The Trump administration should make clear that Beijing will face consequences if it does not bring to bear its massive interests in support of this goal," Bolton writes.

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Pakistan is the key to keeping peace in Afghanistan, and China is the key to keeping Pakistan under control, since it's to blame for the current predicament in the first place, former UN ambassador John Bolton wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.
john bolton, china, pakistan, afghanistan, push
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2017-02-29
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:02 AM
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