Dr. Paul Stott (SOAS) speaking during EFSAS Seminar on CPEC at EU Parliament
Dr. Paul Stott, Lecturer at the University of Leicester and in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London and EFSAS Research Fellow, focused on the evolution of the United States under President Donald Trump and his approach towards China and Pakistan. Dr. Stott expressed the opinion that Pakistan has burnt its bridges with the United States and China is now one of its last options for salvage. While illustrating the current global balance of power, where the US sees China as an economic and military rival, Dr. Stott elaborated that the relationship Washington maintains with Islamabad is determined by the relation it maintains with Beijing, meaning that the US sees Pakistan through the prism of its connection with China. Dr. Stott remarked that the relationship between the US and Pakistan has been slowly fading over time and has especially deteriorated since the discovery of Osama Bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad and that Pakistan’s sponsoring of terrorism and provision of safe havens for extremist groups and individuals remains a significant factor of the shaping of US foreign policy towards the country. Dr. Stott stressed that during the UN Security Council Al-Qaeda Sanction Committee, China blocked the designation of Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) Chief, Masood Azhar as a prescribed terrorist, despite being called upon by countries such as India and US. Equally, China has turned a blind eye to the mainstreaming of terrorists into politics such as the head of Laskhar-e-Taibah (LeT), Hafiz Saeed, which subsequently portrays how a long leash has been given to armed actors, potentially in Jammu & Kashmir in order to distract attention from what is happening in China’s Xinjiang province. Dr. Stott concluded by saying that the international community needs to be very critical of China, its relationships, its foreign policy, and its intentions, especially with the advent of projects like CPEC.
Dr Paul Stott (SOAS) speaking during EFSAS Seminar in the EU Parliament