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One of the biggest impediments to India-China relations today is Beijing’s perceived support for Islamabad at the cost of New Delhi. There is a perception within Indian circles that China’s support for Pakistan is meant to strategically contain India. This is perhaps the sharp point of what some Indian commentators describe as China’s overall containment policy whereby it seeks to surround India with Chinese bases and assets across South Asia. But is China really using Pakistan as a strategic hedge against India? After all, an unstable Pakistan is a problem for both India and China as all three have common borders.

目前印中关系面临的最大障碍之一,是北京方面明显以牺牲新德里为代价来支持伊斯兰堡。印度人圈内有一种看法,认为中国支持巴基斯坦是为了从战略上遏制印度。这或许是一些印度评论人士所谓的中国全面遏制印度政策的尖锐之处,因此中国寻求在南亚围绕印度建立一些基地和资产。但中国真的把巴基斯坦当针对印度的战略避免损失的措施吗?毕竟,一个不稳定的巴基斯坦对印度和中国来说都是个麻烦,因为这三个国家拥有共同的边界。

Let’s face it, Pakistan is a nuclear weapon state. So it is dangerous for both India and China if Pakistan implodes. And of course there is a history to how Pakistan got here. After it lost its eastern wing in 1971, the Pakistani establishment started concertedly cultivating extremist groups for strategic depth. It did this vis-a-vis Afghanistan with active support of the US and sheltered and trained the Afghan mujahideen. It then deployed a similar strategy vis-a-vis Kashmir to carry out an asymmetric war against India. But this strategy has had its own costs for Pakistan. It depleted Pakistan’s productive resources, greatly Islamised Pakistani society, weakened Pakistani institutions – on top of pre-existing constitutional infirmities – and created a radicalism monster that can’t be fully controlled by Pakistani authorities.

让我们面对现实吧,巴基斯坦是核武器国家。因此,如果巴基斯坦发生内爆,印度和中国两国都有危险。当然,巴基斯坦如何走到今天也是有历史的。在1971年失去了东翼之后,巴基斯坦当局开始联合起来培养极端主义组织以获得战略纵深。在美国的积极支持下和阿富汗一起,保护并训练阿富汗的圣战者。然后,又在克什米尔部署了类似的战略,对印度发动了一场不对称的战争。但这一战略也让巴基斯坦付出了代价。耗尽了巴基斯坦的生产资源,极大地使巴基斯坦社会伊斯兰化,削弱了巴基斯坦政府体系——除了先前存在的宪法缺陷之外——并创造了一个巴基斯坦当局都无法完全控制的激进主义怪物。

This is why Pakistan today is a crumbling state. Now there are two approaches to deal with the situation. Either Pakistan can be helped onto a path of stability or it can be isolated and punished for harbouring terrorists. The latter approach assumes that if enough pressure is brought to bear on Islamabad and Rawalpindi GHQ, then the Pakistani civilian and military leaderships will be forced to change things and turn off the terror tap. But what if the Pakistani establishment is not fully in control of things over there? That’s part of the reason why Pakistan is a failing state.



On being asked what are China’s long-term plans for Pakistan, the delegation affirmed that Beijing firmly believed in the economic way to resolve Pakistan’s issues, particularly through infrastructure development. This is where the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor comes in. Thus, China believes that economic stability in Pakistan can be a game-changer for peace in the region. So it can be said that New Delhi and Beijing have different views on how to deal with Islamabad. But it is important to remember that both agree that an unstable Pakistan is bad for the whole region. Perhaps it would be helpful for India-China ties if New Delhi and Beijing start narrowing their differences on Pakistan and together find a comprehensive solution to the issue. After all, India-China working together to resolve regional problems is critical to ushering in an Asian century.

在被问到中国对巴基斯坦的长期计划时,该代表团重申,北京坚信经济方式,特别是基础设施建设是解决巴基斯坦问题的最佳方式。这也是中巴经济走廊的作用所在。因此,中国认为巴基斯坦的经济稳定可以成为该地区和平的游戏规则改变者。因此,可以说,新德里和北京在如何与伊斯兰堡打交道上有不同的看法。但重要的是要记住,中印双方都认为,一个不稳定的巴基斯坦对整个地区是不利的。如果新德里和北京开始缩小在巴基斯坦问题上的分歧,并共同找到一个全面解决问题的办法,也许对印中关系会有帮助。毕竟,印中合作解决地区问题,对于开辟亚洲新纪元至关重要。