23 C
Lahore
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Search
Generic filters
EditorialWar of words between the US, China

War of words between the US, China

The US and China have got engaged in a war of words over each other’s humanitarian response to flood-hit Pakistan. In response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s advice to Pakistan to seek debt relief from close partner China in view of floods, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin has called on the US to abstain from “passing unwarranted criticism against Pakistan-China cooperation” and urged it to do something “real and beneficial” for the people of Pakistan.

The existing rivalry between two economic powers resurfaces again and again whenever any opportunity arises. Currently, Pakistan has been facing one of the worst economic crises due to historical floods. Islamabad’s close ties with Beijing and Washington have prompted it to seek help from both states. However, both countries are putting the onus of extending any financial relief to Pakistan on each other while criticizing each other’s response to the crisis. Debit relief and financial aid are two areas where both countries can play a significant role in easing burden on the economy of Pakistan. Keeping in view their strategic interests, both countries can do more in this situation compared to what has actually been done. In fact, the level of generosity demonstrated by both economic powers is low compared to the magnitude of losses. Both states must have announced some bigger and better aid packages and debt relief measures instead of relying on extending financial aid in installments.  Reportedly, the Chinese government has so far provided 400 million RMB worth of humanitarian assistance while the US has committed US $56 million in humanitarian aid and sent 17 planes full of supplies, with promises of long-term support. On the other hand, the initial estimate of losses incurred by Pakistan due to floods is figured at US$ 30 billion as such Islamabad needs at least US$ 10 billion on an urgent basis to sail through the economic crisis.

A suspension in debt-repayments is urgently required for Pakistan both from China and the US backed IMF and the World Bank. Moreover, being the largest economies in the world, both states can easily write off a few billion dollars debts for Pakistan. After all both countries are strong allies and have strategic interest in Pakistan. Arguably, the main reason for criticism over each other’s scanty aid programme is that the US does not want its aid to be used to pay down the debt owed to China and for that matter same is true for IMF re-payments.

Pakistan has to tread cautiously in this game of interests. It has to acknowledge contributions from both states as well as try to build stronger ties for its ultimate survival in the given circumstances. Pakistan also needs to figure out how to undo the damages outside of relying on charity, aid and loan restructuring. Better utilization of Prime Minister Funds in initiating long term rehabilitation programmes can yield effective results. Pakistan needs to focus on its available resources that can bring a quick revival of economy. Ultimately, Pakistan itself has to stand up on its feet.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Top News

More articles