Monday, May 23, 2011

Pakistan Feeling Threatened by US, China to Expedite Delivery of Fifty JF-17s to Pakistan

In response to the simmering geopolitical confrontation between the U.S. and Pakistan, China is making its position clear with the announcement that Pakistan will be recieving an expedited shipment of fifty state-of-the-art JF-17 fighter jets on credit.  There has been a number of significant events in Pakistan recently, from the outing and subsequent departure of the Pakistan CIA station chief, to the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, to the alleged and fake CIA mock-up Osama bin Laden raid, the U.S. is up to something and, whatever it is, the stench is thick.
From the Pakistan Daily Times:
Pakistan, China likely to ink agreement on JF-17 Thunder
BEIJING: Pakistan and China are expected to sign an agreement today (Thursday) for the provision of 50 JF-17 thunder aircraft to Pakistan on emergency basis, it has been learnt by Daily Times. According to official sources, these aircraft will be equipped with sophisticated avionics. Not only will the aircraft be handed over within weeks, China will also foot the bill initially. Although Pakistan and China have been jointly developed this multirole combat aircraft in the past, in the aftermath of the US operation in Abbottabad, serious questions have been raised about Pakistan’s defence capabilities. According to a strategic expert, the speedy delivery of 50 pieces of this aircraft, originally to be done over two years, is expected to allay apprehensions of not only the Pakistani public but will also send a message to the world that Pakistan’s defence is not weak. It might be remembered that not only has the Indian military chief speculated on the possibility of a US-style strike from the Indian side to take out jihadi outfits in Pakistan, there has been escalation on the Pakistan-India border near Sialkot recently. Also, observers believe that in a situation when the speculations are rife that Pakistan may not be able to resist another US attack inside its territory if it so decides, this agreement will send a clear message to the world on which side China stands.
For further reading, if you don't trust anything that doesn't come from the mainstream media (I'm sorry), here's a link to the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the situation:  China to Fast-Track Jets for Pakistan

We will see in the coming weeks what all this posturing will amount to, but I am hoping the U.S. doesn't get too brazen and start some conflict with Pakistan that entangles China.  In this scenario, the rabbit hole goes deep.

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