“Pak China friendship is higher than mountains, deeper than the ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey”
Pak China relations have only grown stronger with time. The two countries have stood by each other through thick and thin. Without a doubt, Pak China friendship is exemplary. According to BBC, 75% of Pakistanis welcome this two-country relation. In the entire Asia Pacific region, the people of China hold third most optimistic views about Pakistan’s authority across the world if it is rated among Pakistan, China and Indonesia.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China back in 1951, the two allies have developed an endless friendship. They have carried out multi-dimensional cooperation in various fields. Pak China friendship has remained the talk of the town because of a renowned book “The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics”. The book gives an in-depth view of Pakistan China relations. The recent mega project CPEC, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, has taken Pak China relations to an entirely new level.
Pak China Relations History
Pakistan and China relations started in 1950 when Pakistan decided to close the official relations with the Republic of China and recognized the PRC. After that, the two countries laid much importance to maintaining the extraordinary supportive and close ties with each other.
The PRC extended assistance to Pakistan on many fronts including military, business and technical aid. China is the biggest supplier of arms and its third biggest trading partner. China offers a big supply of modern weapons for the defence forces of Pakistan. China has also rendered a loan to Pakistan worth $60millin as a grant after the broken down of East Pakistan. Now both courtiers are teaming up for the development of Pakistan’s civil nuclear power side.
Keeping close relations with Pakistan is a core of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy. General Zia improved Pak-China diplomatic relations in 1986. Pakistan also crucially supported PRC after the Tiananmen protests in 1989. China also supports Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir issue. In return, Pakistan renders its support to China for Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.
Pakistan is proved to be a link between the Muslim countries. The country has also helped China in minimizing the communication gap between China and West by assisting 1972 Nixon visit to China.
PRC and the relations before modern Pakistan
Ancient Buddhist monks region which has now turned into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a part of Silk Road which was a route that transferred Buddhism to China’s Han Empire. Han borders with Kushan Empire. Faxian had a trip to an area which is now today’s’ modern Pakistan. Japan’s royal background was described by Imam Du to his Muslim associates.
The founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had a meeting with Imam Du. The Anti-Japanese efforts of Muslims and Chinese undertook an oath of support from Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. However, Tagore’s (Hindu leaders), Gandhi and Muslims had a discussion with a Chinese delegation on war under Ma Fuliang. Whereas the Ismet Inonu, the President Turkey also met the delegation. Jinnah and Gandhi both had a meeting with Hui Ma Fuliang and his delegation because they criticized Japan.
“All-Weather Diplomatic Relations”
The Pak China diplomatic relations started on May 21, 1951, after China lost his power in Mainland in 1949. Indian Prime Minister Nehru had hopes for closer ties with China. Pakistani Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suharwardy and Zhou Enlai the Chinese Premier signed a Treaty of Friendship Between China and Pakistan as a manifestation of Pakistan China bilateral relations.
In 1962 Sino-Indian war lead Pakistan and China to get aligned with each other to counteract the Soviet Union and India as both of these have boundary issues with India. After one year of this war with India, Pakistan surrendered the Trans-Karakoram Tract to China in order to finish border issues and to enhance diplomatic relation.
So an informal coalition for Indian opposition bloomed into a deep and lasting relationship and their diplomatic and military fronts got strengthened. With the diplomatic assistance, Pakistan is a channel for China to enter the West.
In April 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan and admired Pak China friendship. He said that he feels as he is visiting his brother’s home. Xi Jinping’s airplane was warmly welcomed by Pakistan at arriving at Noor Khan air base. He expressed his deep feelings as:
When I was young, I heard many touching stories about Pakistan and the friendship between our two countries. To name just a few, I learned that the Pakistani people were working hard to build their beautiful country and that Pakistan opened an air corridor for China to reach out to the world and supported China in restoring its lawful seat in the United Nations. The stories have left me with a deep impression. I look forward to my upcoming state visit to Pakistan.
Pakistan and China enjoy great military ties which play a vital role in the global geopolitics. The military alliance is focused on counteracting American, Indian and Soviet influence in the region. Several combined military projects have gotten the ties even stronger in military fronts. China is a solid supplier of the equipment for the ammunition factories and provides technical support to Pakistan Army. There has been a mutual assistance in producing weapons ranging guided missile frigates to fighter jets.
Collaborated efforts for counterterrorism
Both countries have coordinated assistance to gain regional stability. Wan Yi the Foreign Minister said that China wants to use Xinjiang as an origin of economic development to increase the trade, security and development. It will also help to improve the Pak China Corridor project along with CPEC Route.
Pak China Economic Ties
The economic trade between Pakistan and China is increasing. The free trade agreement has also been signed in this regard. Several technological and military agreements have been matured. China has promised to increase the investment in Pakistan for the economic development. Both countries have touched the new levels for the economic growth and China has made a huge investment in the development of seaport at Gwadar. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says that Pakistan is China’s major arms buyer that comprises 47% of the total of China’s export.
Pak China Relations
Pak China relations are only improving with time. Pak China friendship has stood the test of time. With the CPEC, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, in full swing, the relation between the two counties is getting even stronger. The mega project will connect Pakistan with China and the Central Asian countries through a highway from Kashgar to Khujjerab to Gwadar port. It will act as a hub of trade activity for China. There are educational as well as business opportunities opening up for both Pakistanis and Chinese thanks to the CPEC.
Gwadar port will decrease the cost and the travel distance for China to carry out their trade shipments. With all these developments, let us hope Pakistan and China friendship continues to thrive, bringing peace and prosperity to the people of the region as well as the entire world.