In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Sameer Lalwani to discuss the evolving relationship between China and Pakistan. He explains that China has accumulated major leverage over Pakistan through both economic investment and arms sales. Dr. Lalwani also details how China might seek greater access to ports in the Indian Ocean through Pakistan. Looking forward, Dr. Lalwani argues that despite the close relationship, Pakistan has a different threat perception than China and values its autonomy. If possible, Pakistan does not want to pick sides in the emerging U.S.-China competition, opening the door to possible U.S. engagement with Islamabad.
Dr. Sameer Lalwani is a senior expert on South Asia at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is also a non-resident senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. From 2015 to 2022, Dr. Lalwani was a senior fellow for Asia strategy and the director of the South Asia program at the Stimson Center. He has also spent time as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and as a Stanton nuclear security postdoctoral fellow at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Lalwani has conducted field research in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations.