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China wary of replacing US in Pakistan

Even for its 'all-weather' friend, Pakistan is the ally nobody wants too close

Reuters offers an interesting addendum to my fantasy that Washington might just be able to stick Beijing with the responsibility for Pakistan, albeit told in the news agency's typical old school staid manner.  The gist: China is not exactly wishing for the day that the U.S. dumps Pakistan and its 'all-weather friend' comes to Beijing to replace those billions in economic / military aid.

Maintaining that delicate balance, China will continue supporting economic cooperation with Pakistan but go slow on defence cooperation. While outwardly all smiles and warm pledges of friendship, China will quietly keep things at arms length, the news agency said.

But the best summation of the Chinese view on Pakistan comes deep down, from  Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

"The 'all-weather friendship' doesn't mean that all of Pakistan's bills should be paid by us," Reuters quotes Zhao as saying.

Losing Pakistan is looking better all the time.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/china-wary-replacing-us-pakistan