Over the years the China-Pakistan relationship has become a virtual constant in foreign policy matters pertaining to South Asia. Yet it is a relationship about which little is known. That is partly by design – the two nations like to keep the exact nature of the relationship out of the spotlight – but also because few experts have taken the time to dissect it.
The China – Pakistan Axis by Andrew Small is a worthy attempt to shine light on the longstanding linkages between the two nations.
The book chronicles the development of the relationship over the decades since the 1960s in a changing geopolitical environment. Indeed, the author brackets the relationship into easy to understand ‘bite size’ segments based on underlying themes during particular periods.
By the end of Small’s work, the reader has a good understanding of the main tenets of the Pak – China relationship. Nonetheless, the book is at best an introduction and not an in depth analysis. To be sure, it is an entertaining and worthy introduction.
However, the subject warrants more detailed analyses including in individual aspects of the China – Pakistan relationship, e.g. foreign policy coordination; counter terror cooperation especially with regard to Uygur separatism; economic cooperation; and even military industrial production.
One hopes Small’s book will be the first in a series – by different authors - on what is until now an enigmatic relationship between two very different nations.
Imran is a Singapore based Tour Guide with a special interest in arts and history. Imran has lived and worked in several countries during his past career as an international banker. He enjoys traveling, especially by train, as a way to feed his curiosity about the world and nurture his interest in photography. He is available on Instagram (@imran_traveller); twitter (@grandmoofti) and can be contacted at email@example.com.