The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics. Andrew Small. London: Hurst & Company, 2015. Pp. 319. (Book Review)

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As the US pivots towards the Asia-Pacific, China, its principal nemesis in the game of contemporary internationals geopolitics, has focused its attention towards South, Central and West Asia, a region that has traditionally been the bastion of the US and its European allies. The Chinese move towards this region has, and is being constantly strengthened by such ambitious plans as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). And of late, the reported Chinese role in garnering willingness of the Afghan Taliban to begin negotiations with the government of President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, perhaps even in Beijing, besides the choice of other avenues such as Doha, Dubai and Islamabad. With China willing to play a political role in Afghanistan, its traditional “all weather friend” – Pakistan has now expressed a commitment to encourage the Afghan Taliban to talk peace with the Ghani government. Encouraged by the Chinese willingness to play the role of a mediator, Pakistan officials accompanied a delegation of the Afghan Taliban in late 2014 and early 2015, for at least two rounds of reported talks with Chinese officials.

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