CHINA: Amid a surge in targeted attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan over China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC), Beijing is concerned that the protective measures are not working well in the country as small-scale, intermittent attacks on soft targets like Chinese citizens continue to take place, becoming a source of mistrust.
The targeted attacks on Chinese nationals across Pakistan have been carried out by both Sindh and ethnic Baloch rebels, Asian Lite reported.
These rebels blame China for extensive resource exploitation and extraction in Balochistan and Sindh under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is protected by the Pakistani government under strict security measures.
Due to the ascent in attacks on Chinese citizens in Pakistan, China has always shown eagerness to send its private security firms to protect its citizens working on CPEC-led projects, however, the idea has always been rejected by the Pakistani government, time and again, according to the Asian Lite.
There have been multiple instances of attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan in the past, the recent one being the suicide bombing of Confucius Institute employees in April and the attack on the Karachi Consulate in November 2018.
According to a researcher and independent analyst from Balochistan, Adnan Amir, small-scale attacks on Chinese citizens have resulted in a rift between China and Pakistan.
"The Chinese proposed to bring its security to protect Chinese residents, particularly in the wake of the April attack on the Confucius Institute. That idea was graciously rejected by Pakistan, Aamir remarked, adding that Chinese investment remains defined by Pakistan accepting the Chinese proposal of letting Chinese security businesses run in the country or not, reported Asian Lite.
Recently, a Chinese national was killed on Wednesday and two others were injured when an unidentified man opened fire inside a dental clinic in Karachi's Saddar area.
In July, nine Chinese workers were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives and driven by a suicide attacker rammed the bus in which they were travelling towards the Dasu Hydropower project in the Upper Kohistan area of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
China's ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong escaped unhurt, yet five people were killed and 12 others injured when a suicide bomb attack was carried out at a luxury hotel in Pakistan's Quetta in April 2021.
In July 2020, a huge protest erupted in Muzaffarabad of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against China, condemning it for the illegal construction of Neelum Jhelum and Kohala Hydropower stations.
The protestors highlighted the environmental impacts of dams constructed by China under the CPEC initiative, Asian Lite reported.
Earlier, the Chinese Consulate in Karachi was attacked by the Baloch Liberation Army in November 2018. It was the second attack on Chinese interests in that year after a bus carrying Chinese engineers was targeted by suicide bombers in Baluchistan's Dalbandin city in August 2018. Three Chinese nationals were injured in that suicide bomb attack.