Islamabad (GPA) – Following condemnations by several members of the Trump Regime, Pakistan has decided they’ve taken enough western abuse and have dropped the US dollar.
Several months ago when US President Donald Trump announced his strategy for the Afghan war, he also uttered similar platitudes to past presidents about reforming the alliance between the US and their regional partner Pakistan. In that speech, similar to Obama and Bush, Trump made comments complaining about Pakistan’s tendency to give “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror.” And pointed out that “The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict.”
While none of this rhetoric was new to the US Foreign policy establishment, tensions reached a new level following a tweet by Trump on New Year’s Day. In the tweet, Trump lamented that “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.” He also reiterated his point that “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Following this tweet, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif denounced Trump’s comments as political theater. Theater or not, however, Pakistani officials still summoned the US ambassador, David Hale, to meet with his counterparts in Islamabad to explain Trump’s comments.
This meeting didn’t change anything and shortly after it concluded, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also made comments at the UN, accusing Pakistan of playing a “double game” for years. “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years,” she said, claiming that “[Pakistan works] with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan.”
Following these events, both Trump and Haley have embarked on a PR campaign of demonizing Pakistan and threatening to cut off US aid to the country. Pakistan’s UN ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, did offer a rebuttal to these comments, saying her country was never motivated by aid but instead by “our national interests and principles.”
Lodhi also pointed out that “We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism and carried out the largest counter-terrorism operation anywhere in the world. Lodhi then criticized Washington, telling them to “not shift the blame for [its] own mistakes and failures onto others.”
Washington’s new attitude is, of course, being cheered on by the long list of Pakistan’s enemies, including other regional countries, and most importantly, Pakistan’s top adversary India. As usual, this has left Pakistan extremely isolated in the region except for one crucial player who did defend the nation from US slander – China.
China, which already provides massive aid to Pakistan to offset pressure from India and also views the country as a crucial member of the Belt and Road initiative, stepped up to defend their ally. This position was expressed by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a press conference when he told reporters that: “Pakistan has made enormous efforts and sacrifice for the fight against terrorism and has made very outstanding contribution to the global cause of counter-terrorism. The international community should acknowledge that.”
While a Trump supporter may view this as some sort of bullshit “transactional politics,” China’s overtures towards Pakistan now appear to be leading to an outcome that will benefit both Islamabad and Beijing.
In a surprising move, Pakistan has now ditched the dollar as their base currency in deals with China and has instead opted to use the Chinese yuan. This new system will now result in the flow of billions of yuan in cross-border transactions in both trade and investment.
While this may not seem like much, perhaps the world should thank Trump, as it looks like he’s now helped lay another cornerstone in the construction of Belt and Road. Pakistan is already home to nearly $60 billion in Chinese infrastructure investment, and working in the framework of the bilateral China-Pakistan Economic Corridor agreement. This latest change in the economic cooperation between the two nations is just another step is crushing US financial control over Pakistan and helping launch the Chinese model of global commerce.
Update: Following Pakistan’s announcement to switch to the Yuan, the Trump Regime has added the country to its list of nations that “violate religious freedoms.”
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.