China–Pakistan relations began in 1950 when Pakistan wasamong the first countries to end official diplomatic relations with the Republic ofChina or Taiwan and recognize the PRC. Since then, both countrieshave placed considerable importance on the maintenance of an extremely closeand supportive relationship123 andthe two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in avariety of agreements.
The PRC has provided economic, military and technicalassistance to Pakistan and each considers the other a close strategic ally.45 Therelationship has recently been the subject of renewed attention due to thepublication of a new book, The China-Pakistan Axis:Asia’s New Geopolitics, which is the first extensive treatmentof the relationship since the 1970s.Bilateralrelations have evolved from an initial Chinese policy of neutrality to apartnership with a smaller but militarily powerful Pakistan.
Diplomaticrelations were established in 1950, boundary issues solved in 1963, militaryassistance began in 1966, a strategic alliance was formed in 1972 and economicco-operation began in 1979. China has become Pakistan’s largest supplier ofarms and its third-largest trading partner.67 Chinahas given Pakistan a loan of $60 million which was later made a grantafter east pakistan broke away. Recently, bothnations have decided to cooperate in improving Pakistan’s civil nuclear power sector.8Maintainingclose relations with China is a central part of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
In 1986 Zia visited China to improve diplomaticrelations.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 andPakistan also share close military relations, with China supplying a range ofmodern armaments to the Pakistani defence forces. China supports Pakistan’sstance on Kashmir whilePakistan supports China on the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan. Military cooperation has deepened withjoint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets toguided missile frigates.9Chinesecooperation with Pakistan has reached economic high points, with substantialChinese investment in Pakistani infrastructural expansion including thePakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Both countries have an ongoing free trade agreement.
Pakistan has served as China’s main bridge between Muslim countries. Pakistanalso played an important role in bridging the communication gap between Chinaand the West by facilitating the 1972 Nixon visit to China. The relationsbetween Pakistan and China have been described by Pakistan’s ambassador toChina as higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, strongerthan steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey, and so on. 10 Accordingto StockholmInternational Peace Research Institute, Pakistan is China’s biggestarms buyer, counting for nearly 47% of Chinese arms exports.11 Accordingto a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 75% of Pakistanis viewChina’s influence positively with only 15% expressing a negative view. In theAsia-Pacific region, Chinese people hold third most positiveopinions of Pakistan’s influence in the world, behind Indonesia and Pakistanitself.12 Pak-China socio-economic relations in the Era 2000-2012Pakistan and China has long history of reliable and time tested relationship.PakChina friendship has been proved to be model of friendship between twoneighboring states.
Both states have strong political, defence, social andeconomic relations. The changes took place in government of both states do notaffect their relations. Their friendship is based on the principle of equalityand mutual interests in all the fields of life. Both states respect theindependence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other.
Bothcountries are giving much importance to their mutual relations in their foreignpolicy. Pakistan supported Chinese point of view on one China policy, Tibet andTaiwan issues. China always gives defence and economic assistance to Pakistan.In Pakistan, there is huge Chinese investment which is likely to invest in thedevelopment of infrastructure, roads, highway, ports, and energy andcommunications sectors.
Pakistan welcomed the Chinese investment for social andeconomic development. China supported Pakistan role against terrorism in thisregion.(Sabir, n. d.) Jafar Riaz Kataria & Anum Naveed Pakistan-ChinaSocial 397 Both states are giving much importance to strengthen their economicrelations. Chinese investment in Pakistan is gradually increasing which is veryimportant for economic development.
In South Asia, Pakistan is first countrywhich has FTA (free trade agreement) with China. Pakistan and China are goodtrading partners. During first five years of FTA, Pakistan’s exports wereincreased. So, it is planned to extend FTA for next five years. Both statescooperate each others in the field of trade, economic, agriculture, industry,energy, communication, and technology sectors. Pakistan-China relations are anexcellent example of shared perceptions on important issues and dependablefriendship based on principles. (Sabir, n.
d.) Historically, Pakistan and Chinahas strong defence relations. China shares close military relations withPakistan and transfer modern equipments to Pakistan defence forces. China gavematerial and moral support to Pakistan during Soviet invasion in Afghanistan,wars against India and as a frontline state against terrorism. Both states wantto promote diplomatic, defence, economic, and social relations. The relationsbetween 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, hefocused to improve relations with China. In January 2000, Chief executive ofPakistan General Pervez Musharraf visited China after few months after he cameof power. Pervez Musharraf met the Chinese Primer Zhou Rongji and discussed theproblems related US sanctions on Pakistan’s nuclear policy and democracyrelated issues. He also talked to enhance Pak-China economic and traderelations. Premier Zhou Rongji stated military government in Pakistan would notaffect Pak-China relations and stated “In our nation-building endeavors, ourtwo countries have supported each other and have carried out fruit fullcooperation”. Pervez Musharraf stated that “Pakistan considers China as itsmost reliable and time tested friend”.
(Mahmood, 2000) In 2001, two countriesorganized major celebrations on 50th anniversary of Pak-China bilateralrelations. In May 2001, Chinese primer Zhou Rongji visited Pakistan to attend50th anniversary of Pakistan and China bilateral relationship. Zhou Rongjiannounced that China would start cooperation on the initial development ofGwadar port and coastal highway in Pakistan.
Zhou Rongji also stated peace andstability in this region was priority of China. (Tao, 2012) The terroristsattacked World Trade Center and Pentagon on 11 September 2001. The worldcommunity reacted with shock. All condemned the attacks and expressed sympathyfor American people.
The President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf issued astrong statement of condemnation and sympathy. He also affirmed Pakistan’sreadiness to join US war in fight against terrorism. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into being on 14th ofAugust, 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 thefirst Muslim country to recognize China. Pakistan was also among those countriesthat opposed the United Nations resolution recognizing China as an aggressor inthe Korean War. The diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan wereestablished in May 1951. In 1961, the relations were further strengthened whenPakistan voted for a bill concerning the restoration of China’s legitimaterights in the UN.
In 1963, China-Pakistan signed the agreement for settling theborder issues and for the construction linking China’s Xinjian-Uygur autonomousregion with the northern areas of Pakistan. Chinese diplomatic assistanceduring the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, further solidified the China-Pakistanrelationships (Kumar, 2006). Afterwards the state visits by different leadersof both sides kept on cementing the mutual ties. Particularly, in 1996, a statevisit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Pakistan helped in establishing acomprehensive friendship. In 2005, China and Pakistan signed a landmark Treatyof Friendship and Co-operation (Aneja, 2006). Close China-Pakistan ties havebeen mainly of military and strategic importance. Pakistan always stands up toIndia against his hegemonies over the region, thus fulfilling the key objectiveof China’s South Asia policy. As long as Pakistan and India are preoccupiedwith 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 byavoiding the confrontations with India. Atul Kumar also expressed same kind ofviews. A strong Pakistan is in the interest of China as it ensures that Indiandreams of regional lordship will not go unchallenged (Kumar, 2006).China-Pakistan political relations are extremely deep but economic relationsare shallow.
China-Pakistan “all-weather” friendship requires the strengtheningof the bilateral economic relationship. In this regard China-Pakistan FreeTrade Agreement is supposed to be a stepping stone in augmenting the economicrelations between China and Pakistan. China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement wassigned on 24 November 2006 and entered into force on 1 July 2007. The Agreementcomprised of phased and gradual program of elimination of tariff onsubstantially all bilateral trade. Through bilateral efforts, the bilateraltrade of goods between China and Pakistan is expected to reach 15 Billion USDollars in 2011.
Pakistan’s trade deficit with China is expanding. Pakistan’seconomy is seriously struggling at the moment.