Almost sixty years have lapsed since Pakistan and China established diplomatic relationship. The relationship between the two countries are time tested, an unbridled relationship which continues to grow and strengthen with passage of time. The area in which the two nations reside has undergone numerous Geo-strategic changes namely Sino-Indo relations, the collapse of Soviet Union, 9/11 with Pakistan becoming front line state in the war against terror and so on.
In context to all these developments, China and Pakistan find themselves on the same page , each strongly supporting each other at every forum thus exhibiting exemplary and unique brotherly relationship. The intensity of the relationship can be gauged by the frequency of the visits by the two heads of the state which continue unabated. President Zardari stated on his second visit to China in February 2009, within a year of taking over the presidency, “Perhaps no relationship between two sovereign states is as unique and durable as that between Pakistan and China.
On the Pakistan side of the Himalayas, the mighty range that separates the two countries, China is seen as a true, time tested and reliable friend that has always come through for Pakistan. That the Pakistan-China friendship is higher than the peaks of Himalayas is now a truism without exaggeration. I am certain that on the Chinese side a similar sentiment exists for Pakistan. It is a friendship rooted in the hearts and minds of the people of the two countries.
”1 An insight into the significance of developments of relationships between the two nations are outlined below: “In 2005, China and Pakistan signed a land mark Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation, whereby they committed that neither party will join any alliance or bloc which infringes upon the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of either nation, while simultaneously positing that both parties would not conclude Treaties of this nature with any 3rd party. ”2 The above agreement is manifest of the deep rooted friendship between the two states.
The security and territorial integrity of any nation is the most vital element for existence for any nation. Pakistan China relationship were based on these foundations. Having build a solid foundation of friendship, China provided physical, technical and financial support to Pakistan on a number of vital projects bringing huge economic benefit. The infrastructure projects of Karakoram highway and Gwadar Port are a few significant developments. The construction of Gwader Port will bring immense economic activity in the area.
It will also afford a strategic entrance to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean thus gaining a considerable influence in the region. The People’s Republic of China enjoys strong defence ties with Pakistan. China fully supported Pakistan in its 1965 war against India. China’s source of military equipment to Pakistan has steadily increased over the years. Ever since the dependence on American military equipment has become unreliable and prone to undeclared conditions, the induction of Chinese hardware has increased. China has helped to establish ammunition factories, provided technological assistance in modernizing existing facilities.
Joint ventures such as development of JF-17 Thunder fighter air craft, AWACS system, Al-Khalid tanks, Babur cruise missiles are symbol of deep rooted military co-operation. China has also a vital strategic interest in developing relationship with Pakistan. Ever since the China – India skirmish in the sixties over border dispute which resulted in India building up its forces along the disputed border leading to Chinese military intervention, China has opted for strong partnership with Pakistan to check any hemoginistic designs of India in the region.
This analogy can best be summed up by Lisa Curtis in an article titled “Extent of Pakistan China Relationship” as under: “Pakistan and China have long-standing strategic ties, dating back five decades. China maintains a robust defence relationship with Pakistan and views a strong partnership with Pakistan as a useful way to contain Indian power in the region and divert Indian military force and strategic attention away from China.
The China-Pakistan partnership serves both Chinese and Pakistani interests by presenting India with a potential two-front theater in the event of war with either country. Chinese officials also view a certain degree of India-Pakistan tension as advancing their own strategic interests, as such friction bogs India down in South Asia and interferes with New Delhi’s ability to assert its global ambitions and compete with China at the international level. ”3 China is fast emerging as the biggest economic super power.
Economic trade between China and Pakistan is rapidly increasing at a fast pace. Chinese products have flooded the Pakistani market. “ Current trade between both countries is at $ 9 billion, making China the second largest trade partner of Pakistan. ” 4 China has also played a significant role in the development of nuclear power plants for peaceful purposes. The material and technical support provided by China in the completion of Chasma Nuclear Power Complex is a manifest of the deep rooted relationship.
This has been despite the fact of increasingly stringent export controls in western countries and opposition by major super powers thus it is true to state that Pak-China relationship is “Time tested and All weather. ” In Chinese, Pakistan found a best and most reliable friend. China always helped Pakistan economically and militarily when there was no hope for external help. On the diplomatic front, Pakistan always find China firmly standing behind its back.
As a reciprocal, Pakistan was not only the first country to recognize China but it always supported China’s claim to the Chinese seat in the United Nations. Pak-China friendship is an all weather and time tested relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Both the countries enjoy convergence of views on all bilateral regional and international issues. To conclude it can be said without any doubt that Pak-China relationship is exemplary, which continues to grow and is envy for others. It is a friendship which is rooted in the hearts and mind of the peoples.