China–Pakistan main bridge between Muslim countries. Pakistan also played

China–Pakistan relations began in 1950 when Pakistan was
among the first countries to end official diplomatic relations with the Republic of
China or Taiwan and recognize the PRC. Since then, both countries
have placed considerable importance on the maintenance of an extremely close
and supportive relationship123 and
the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a
variety of agreements. The PRC has provided economic, military and technical
assistance to Pakistan and each considers the other a close strategic ally.45 The
relationship has recently been the subject of renewed attention due to the
publication of a new book, The China-Pakistan Axis:
Asia’s New Geopolitics, which is the first extensive treatment
of the relationship since the 1970s.

Bilateral
relations have evolved from an initial Chinese policy of neutrality to a
partnership with a smaller but militarily powerful Pakistan. Diplomatic
relations were established in 1950, boundary issues solved in 1963, military
assistance began in 1966, a strategic alliance was formed in 1972 and economic
co-operation began in 1979. China has become Pakistan’s largest supplier of
arms and its third-largest trading partner.67 China
has given Pakistan a loan of $60 million which was later made a grant
after east pakistan broke away. Recently, both
nations have decided to cooperate in improving Pakistan’s civil nuclear power sector.8

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Maintaining
close relations with China is a central part of Pakistan’s foreign policy. In 1986 Zia visited China to improve diplomatic
relations.In addition, Pakistan was one of only two countries, alongside Cuba,
to offer crucial support for the PRC in after the Tiananmen protests of 1989. China and
Pakistan also share close military relations, with China supplying a range of
modern armaments to the Pakistani defence forces. China supports Pakistan’s
stance on Kashmir while
Pakistan supports China on the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan. Military cooperation has deepened with
joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to
guided missile frigates.9

Chinese
cooperation with Pakistan has reached economic high points, with substantial
Chinese investment in Pakistani infrastructural expansion including the
Pakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Both countries have an ongoing free trade agreement.
Pakistan has served as China’s main bridge between Muslim countries. Pakistan
also played an important role in bridging the communication gap between China
and the West by facilitating the 1972 Nixon visit to China. The relations
between Pakistan and China have been described by Pakistan’s ambassador to
China as higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger
than steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey, and so on. 10 According
to Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute, Pakistan is China’s biggest
arms buyer, counting for nearly 47% of Chinese arms exports.11 According
to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 75% of Pakistanis view
China’s influence positively with only 15% expressing a negative view. In the
Asia-Pacific region, Chinese people hold third most positive
opinions of Pakistan’s influence in the world, behind Indonesia and Pakistan
itself.12

 

 

Pak-China socio-economic relations in the Era 2000-2012
Pakistan and China has long history of reliable and time tested relationship.
PakChina friendship has been proved to be model of friendship between two
neighboring states. Both states have strong political, defence, social and
economic relations. The changes took place in government of both states do not
affect their relations. Their friendship is based on the principle of equality
and mutual interests in all the fields of life. Both states respect the
independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other. Both
countries are giving much importance to their mutual relations in their foreign
policy. Pakistan supported Chinese point of view on one China policy, Tibet and
Taiwan issues. China always gives defence and economic assistance to Pakistan.
In Pakistan, there is huge Chinese investment which is likely to invest in the
development of infrastructure, roads, highway, ports, and energy and
communications sectors. Pakistan welcomed the Chinese investment for social and
economic development. China supported Pakistan role against terrorism in this
region.(Sabir, n. d.) Jafar Riaz Kataria & Anum Naveed Pakistan-China
Social 397 Both states are giving much importance to strengthen their economic
relations. Chinese investment in Pakistan is gradually increasing which is very
important for economic development. In South Asia, Pakistan is first country
which has FTA (free trade agreement) with China. Pakistan and China are good
trading partners. During first five years of FTA, Pakistan’s exports were
increased. So, it is planned to extend FTA for next five years. Both states
cooperate each others in the field of trade, economic, agriculture, industry,
energy, communication, and technology sectors. Pakistan-China relations are an
excellent example of shared perceptions on important issues and dependable
friendship based on principles. (Sabir, n.d.) Historically, Pakistan and China
has strong defence relations. China shares close military relations with
Pakistan and transfer modern equipments to Pakistan defence forces. China gave
material and moral support to Pakistan during Soviet invasion in Afghanistan,
wars against India and as a frontline state against terrorism. Both states want
to promote diplomatic, defence, economic, and social relations. The relations
between two states describe as higher than Himalaya, deeper than Arabian Sea.
So, it is important to discuss all major events took place in last twelve years
(2000-2012). (Iqbal, 2011) Diplomatic Relations In twenty first century,
Pakistan-China relations entered in new phase of development and cooperation.
When General Pervez Musharraf became new chief executive of Pakistan, he
focused to improve relations with China. In January 2000, Chief executive of
Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf visited China after few months after he came
of power. Pervez Musharraf met the Chinese Primer Zhou Rongji and discussed the
problems related US sanctions on Pakistan’s nuclear policy and democracy
related issues. He also talked to enhance Pak-China economic and trade
relations. Premier Zhou Rongji stated military government in Pakistan would not
affect Pak-China relations and stated “In our nation-building endeavors, our
two countries have supported each other and have carried out fruit full
cooperation”. Pervez Musharraf stated that “Pakistan considers China as its
most reliable and time tested friend”. (Mahmood, 2000) In 2001, two countries
organized major celebrations on 50th anniversary of Pak-China bilateral
relations. In May 2001, Chinese primer Zhou Rongji visited Pakistan to attend
50th anniversary of Pakistan and China bilateral relationship. Zhou Rongji
announced that China would start cooperation on the initial development of
Gwadar port and coastal highway in Pakistan. Zhou Rongji also stated peace and
stability in this region was priority of China. (Tao, 2012) The terrorists
attacked World Trade Center and Pentagon on 11 September 2001. The world
community reacted with shock. All condemned the attacks and expressed sympathy
for American people. The President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf issued a
strong statement of condemnation and sympathy. He also affirmed Pakistan’s
readiness to join US war in fight against terrorism.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into being on 14th of
August, 1947 and the People’s Republic of China on 1st of October; 1949.
Pakistan recognized China in 1950. Pakistan was the third non-communist and the
first Muslim country to recognize China. Pakistan was also among those countries
that opposed the United Nations resolution recognizing China as an aggressor in
the Korean War. The diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan were
established in May 1951. In 1961, the relations were further strengthened when
Pakistan voted for a bill concerning the restoration of China’s legitimate
rights in the UN. In 1963, China-Pakistan signed the agreement for settling the
border issues and for the construction linking China’s Xinjian-Uygur autonomous
region with the northern areas of Pakistan. Chinese diplomatic assistance
during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, further solidified the China-Pakistan
relationships (Kumar, 2006). Afterwards the state visits by different leaders
of both sides kept on cementing the mutual ties. Particularly, in 1996, a state
visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Pakistan helped in establishing a
comprehensive friendship. In 2005, China and Pakistan signed a landmark Treaty
of Friendship and Co-operation (Aneja, 2006). Close China-Pakistan ties have
been mainly of military and strategic importance. Pakistan always stands up to
India against his hegemonies over the region, thus fulfilling the key objective
of China’s South Asia policy. As long as Pakistan and India are preoccupied
with one another China would be at peace on the Tibetan borders (Malik, 2001).
China wants to focus more and more upon economic progress and prosperity by
avoiding the confrontations with India. Atul Kumar also expressed same kind of
views. A strong Pakistan is in the interest of China as it ensures that Indian
dreams of regional lordship will not go unchallenged (Kumar, 2006).
China-Pakistan political relations are extremely deep but economic relations
are shallow. China-Pakistan “all-weather” friendship requires the strengthening
of the bilateral economic relationship. In this regard China-Pakistan Free
Trade Agreement is supposed to be a stepping stone in augmenting the economic
relations between China and Pakistan. China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement was
signed on 24 November 2006 and entered into force on 1 July 2007. The Agreement
comprised of phased and gradual program of elimination of tariff on
substantially all bilateral trade. Through bilateral efforts, the bilateral
trade of goods between China and Pakistan is expected to reach 15 Billion US
Dollars in 2011. Pakistan’s trade deficit with China is expanding. Pakistan’s
economy is seriously struggling at the moment.