By Sabeel Ahmad.
Pakistan and China are time tested and all-weather friends. The Islamic republic of Pakistan got independence in 1947 two years ahead from People’s Republic of China. Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize PRC and established their diplomatic ties in 1950. At start their relations were quiet undemanding due to the era of cold war and of US ties with Pakistan. Because when Pakistan got independence it was the era of cold war, the world was divided into two blocks: USA and USSR. For a toddler nation it was difficult to survive alone in globalized world and instead of being neutral Pakistan chose USA. It can be seen that Pakistan was involved in cold war from its beginning.
China being a communist country and Pakistan being a Democratic country started their relations with slow pace. Both Beijing and Islamabad had border dispute with each other but they solved their dispute in good manner which was the first step on the way of friendship. The Sino-Pakistan agreement was signed on 3rd march 1963 in which both countries ceded their area in good will. Gestures like these strengthen trust as neighbors.
In 1965 when India went for a war with Pakistan, it was a critical stage for Pakistan and his ally USA refused to assist Pakistan, that was the time when Islamabad realized that USA only is not enough for our military needs, so in 1966 Islamabad and Beijing went for the military alliance and now China is the biggest supplier of arms to Pakistan. With the help of China in 1971, Pakistan set up heavy industries taxila, Pakistan ordinance factory and Pakistan aeronautical complex at kamra and many more arms factories were setup, projects like these enhances the defense line of a state. The best example of our vigorous military relations is the making of Joint Fighter-17 Thunder.
“One of the major threats China and Pakistan are facing is the proxies of USA. In retrospect Islamabad and Washington relations were always complex but their complexity increases under the Trump administration”
Coming to Nuclear assistance, Pakistan was the first Muslim country in the world that constructed and operated civil nuclear power plants and there is no doubt that china helped us in becoming a nuclear state. When it comes to Indian aggression China has always supported Pakistan especially on Kashmir stance. It’s clear from Beijing side that Kashmir belongs to Pakistan and Indian occupation is illegal. Same goes for Pakistan when it comes to Chinese territorial security Pakistan supports China as we have seen on Doklam conflict with India. In the eradication of terrorism from its roots Beijing and Islamabad helped a lot, China admires Pakistan efforts and sacrifices against the evil of terrorism, both countries are also involved in peace talks for Afghanistan between Taliban and afghan government.
Pakistan has also become member of SCO (Shanghai cooperation organization) on 9th June 2017 whose one of the purpose is to counter terrorists, separatists and extremists in order to maintain peace security and stability in the region. The only minor issue usually rise between Pakistan and China is the terrorist activity in Chinese province of Xinjiang, Xinjiang is Muslim populated province and it has grievance for communist oppression. Terrorists exploit this issue and create disturbance in the region. But under the platform of SCO Pakistan and Kazakhstan had assured China that all the facilitators of such act will be jeopardy and neighbors will be more stable.
“the US threat is a common threat to Pak-Sino relations and it is likely we are moving to a new cold war”
Beijing and Islamabad are nuclear countries and both have important strategic locations, one is developed country and other is emerging. One of the major threats China and Pakistan are facing is the proxies of USA. In retrospect Islamabad and Washington relations were always complex but their complexity increases under the Trump administration. Donald J. Trump banned Pakistan’s CSF (cooperation support fund) and now trying to put Pakistan on its Watch list. On the other hand US relations with China is also trembling, China was always a competitor to USA and now China is hopefully ending the hegemony of USA, making the world more globalized and multipolar.
It is said that those who controls the waters controls the trades, and both Pakistan and China have important sea ports especially Gwadar post, which is also a project of CPEC. This port will be a boost giver to the economies. The US threat is a common threat to Pak-Sino relations. It’s like we are moving to a new cold war. Recently Russia and China assured Pakistan that any efforts done by USA to raise Sanctions against Pakistan will not be successful as they will use veto power against it. Moscow, Beijing and Islamabad may soon form formal alliance to counter USA. It is said espionage job is given to India in Asia. This major security threat is not easy to handle one wrong move can lead to a war because all the countries have nukes, advanced force and manpower. Billions of lives matters Albeit Pak-Sino relations always promoted peace and stability in the region but in case of aggression and unnecessary pressure both countries are capable to resist and defend their sovereignty.
Sabeel Ahmad is student of International relations and aspirant of CSS. He has great interests in current affairs, defense and strategic studies and especially in diplomacy.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.