Pakistan | China's | Relationship | 06th December 2022 | Virtual Wire
Pakistan and China's relationship was built in 1950 when China on Taiwan recognized the PRC.
Hence, the two countries share the same opinion about many things, which is why they have an unbreakable bond. Therefore, the PRC has given Pakistan military, economic, and technical assistance, which they consider strategic. Pakistan and China's relationship was built in 1950; their military service began in 1966; their economic cooperation began in 1972; and in 1979, a strategic alliance and economic cooperation were formed. Hence, China has become Pakistan's largest supplier and third-party partner, and since then, both nations have decided to improve Pakistan's civilian nuclear program. Their bilateral relationship is a pillar of Pakistan's foreign policy. As a result, China has opposed the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan; therefore, Pakistan has also supported China on issues such as Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, their relationship has deep roots in terms of military cooperation; as a result, they are producing armaments ranging from missile frigates to fighter jets.
If we talk about economic support, China has invested in Pakistan's infrastructural expansion, such as Gwadar. Both countries have signed free trade agreements, and Pakistan has served as a bridge between Muslim countries and China. Since then, Pakistan has had a clear vision for China. Pakistan's strategic partnership with China is critical for its socioeconomic development and national security. Both countries' political and military relations have improved due to OBOR and CPEC. China has decided to pour its investment into Pakistan and launched many projects such as railways, highways, airports, gas pipelines, oil fields, and optical fibre networks. Therefore, Pakistan has opened its gateway for Chinese nationals, which has increased the number of visitors coming to Pakistan for business. Because of this, we can see the cultural exchange in both countries, such as Pakistani people learning Chinese to strengthen their relationship with China. Even China is giving opportunities to Pakistani students for higher education. It is proven that their friendship has expanded in all dimensions.
One of the first projects to emerge from the Karakorum Highway, this project began in the 1960s and was completed in 1979. In 2015, both countries agreed to upgrade the link between Kashgar and Gwadar, which connected Xinjiang and the northern province. In the 1970s, China collaborated in infrastructure development, defence, and self-reliance promotion. They also took part in these facilities, such as the heavy foundry, the Taxila mechanical complex, the forge, and the aeronautical complex.
Though China has played a massive role in Pakistan's development, whether in agriculture, power generation, or communications, during Wen Jiabao's 2005 visit, China increased its credit for a second 340 MW nuclear power plant. As a result, Gwadar Port and Ghazi Brotha are the most significant projects built with Chinese cooperation. In 2011, China provided $20 billion for development projects; hence, the bilateral trade expanded by $15.6 billion in 2019; therefore, these two countries are building a special economic zone for investment to increase their economic ties.
Security Challenges for Chinese Nationals and Projects
Since the CPEC has been expanding in Pakistan, security issues have also arisen. There are almost 30,000 Chinese nationals who are living in Pakistan, and others are coming for short visits. This large number of Chinese people may also bring many security challenges. A report has shown that CPEC may become a new arena for competition for Pakistan's political parties, military groups, and civilian groups. As a result, the Pakistani military is concerned about the project.
Pakistan and China's relationship holds a strong global bond, and both countries are working hard to make it stronger. Hence, the countries do not only share a political relationship; both nations have a special and deep bond since their relationship is named "stronger than steel, sweeter than honey, deeper than oceans, and higher than mountains."