In 1951, Pakistan was one of the first countries to accept China. After nearly seventy years, relations between the two countries have never been strained. On the contrary, the relations between the two countries have deepened in such a long period of time. In Pakistan, Pak-China friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the Arabian Sea has became a proverb. But is the friendship between the two countries really that strong and selfless?
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relationship between two states is different from the relationship and friendship between human beings. It does not include the element of selfless love but the basis of friendship between states is mutual interest or national interest. As long as this interest of the two countries continues with each other, the relationship between the two will remain strong. Naturally, the national interests of Pakistan and China have been aligned for the last seventy years. And both need each other. we will show you why Pakistan needs China.
The first reason is the defense of Pakistan. Defensively, a border is considered strong and secure when it consists of natural geography feature, ie mountains, rivers and oceans, In such case these mountains rivers or sea provide barrier to invader and make country relatively safe. But if we look at the border of Pakistan and India on the map, most of it in the east consists of plains instead of rivers and mountains which makes it easy for any invader to move. And produces serious defense challenges for Pakistan.
Moreover, this border is 2900 km long. Defending such a long border is a very difficult task. This task is being carried out by the Pakistani forces. Historically, Pakistan has always been a threat to India in terms of defense, so the presence of troops on this very long border is very important. But Pakistan’s Durand Line, a 2400 km long western border with Afghanistan, is also very dangerous, Especially since the war in Afghanistan since 9/11 has made Pakistan’s western border insecure and Pakistan has also had to deploy its troops on the western border.
Therefore, the responsibility of protecting the two long borders has fallen on the Pakistani forces. In this situation, it has become even more important for Pakistan to maintain its relations with Iran, Afghanistan and China . Historically, there are boarder disputes of china with India in Arunachul Pradesh , Sikkim and Ladakh. And most of the relations between the two countries are also strained , That is why it is natural for Pakistan to increase its defense relations with China. Because of it , both countries are need of each other.
Pakistan’s political and military policy makers realized from the outset the importance of China in Pakistan’s defense. Therefore, Pakistan not only hastened to recognize China but also established its relations on a strong foundation by signing a border agreement with China in 1963. India also protested Pakistan’s border agreement with China because India considered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as its share . And therefore did not accept any such agreement regarding these areas. India also objected that Pakistan in agreement with China handed over Shaksgam valley illegally to china.
So the area Shaksgam valley was once under the influence of Mir of Hunza so it becomes part of Gilgit Baltistan. But from the point of view of Pakistan this agreement with China was very important and a master stock , Because with this agreement Pakistan got Khunjerab and some other northern areas. China considered these areas as part of its province Sinkiang. With the resolution of the existing border disputes with China, Pakistan’s northern border became secure. And the friendship with China was established on a strong footing which further benefited Pakistan. Most of the credit for this border agreement goes to then Foreign Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and President Ayub Khan.
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The second reason is Pakistan’s diplomatic need. Over the past two decades, China has emerged as the world’s second largest economy and has gained a prominent position in the world. Because of becoming a very big player at international level , importance of china in international affairs becomes very significant and high. Due to its close ties with China, Pakistan has a support opponent to support its position in international forums.
That is why Pakistan needs China diplomatically, whether it is the UN National Council or FATF ,IAEA , or SCO forum, China has always supported Pakistan. China has always supported Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir issue. Once the US diplomat complained to the Chinese diplomat about this constant and unwavering support of Pakistan, The Chinese diplomat had given a very interesting answer. He said that Pakistan is China’s Israel. This support is not one sided on international forums, however Pakistan always supported china .
When communist government came to power in China in 1949, China’s relations with the Western world would end. In 1951, Pakistan had established regular relations with China , Pakistan was the only way of connection for china with other countries for so long.In 1954, PIA became the first foreign anti communist country airline to fly to Beijing. When President Maxine’s government came to power in the United States in 1969, he felt that the United States should build relations with a big country like China.
On Maxine’s orders, the US National Security Adviser requested Pakistan to make efforts to start china-US relations. Pakistan persuaded the Chinese government to establish relations with the United States through backdoor diplomacy. In this regard, Henry Kissinger also had a secret meeting with the President of China. Which later became the basis of Sino-US relations. President Chou en lie mentioned these efforts of Pakistan in his first meeting with president Kissinger. Pakistan’s role is also mentioned in the official declassified documents of the United States.
It was through the efforts of Pakistan and a few other countries that China got a seat in the UN with veto power by ousting Taiwan. We have already mentioned this incident in the fourth episode of the Geopolitical Series. China also thanked Pakistan for its efforts in the UN Security Council by giving vote in favor of Pakistan. You will be surprised to know that when China exercised its veto power for the first time in history in 1972, It did not use it for its own benefit but in favor of Pakistan, When china rejected Bangladesh to joined the UN . Its inclusion was conditional on the release of Pakistani prisoners of war.
There is a third reason. Chinese investment. China is also called the factory of the world. The products made in China are exported all over the world. Due to being the world’s largest manufacturing economy, China has also got huge foreign exchange wealth. With this wealth, China is investing all over the world. International investment is very important for the development of developing countries like Pakistan. If this international investment should spend on development of infrastructure and profitable projects , it would increase production ability of Pakistan and country would be on progress.
That`s why China`s 60 Arab crore project CPEC is lifeline of Pakistan. In first phase, infrastructure is spreading all over Pakistan under this project. And in second phase, special economic zones would built. Where Pakistani and Chinese investors will setup new factories. In this regard a big duty is upon Pakistan`s government , to make such policies so that Chinese investors feel safe to invest in Pakistan. So that a large number of Chinese investors can be attracted to invest in these economic zones.
Chinese investors look for investing outside of country. Because due to progress in china , labor is expensive so for lower class investors manfacturing is expensive in china. So for them Pakistan is better replacement. In Pakistan , we do talk about china`s investment but there is another big benefit of china`s investment that mostly people ignore. CPEC is actually a part of China’s Belt and Road initiative BRI project. In BRI, China is basically by spreading infrastructure connecting Asia, Europe and Africa. Pakistan can easily reach its exporters to landlocked countries in Europe and especially in Central Asia.
\Moreover, Landlocked countries ie that have no sea like Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan etc For them, the port of Pakistan can also prove to be attractive and important , So that these countries can trade through Gwadar using CPEC and BRI, which can also earn Pakistan valuable foreign exchange in terms of taxes.
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Fourth Reason :
Now let’s look at the fourth reason that is the acquisition of technology. As China is making great strides in technology, Pakistan is taking advantage of China’s technology and can take advantage of it even more.In this regard , the most important thing is defense technology and to get it from west is very difficult. Because America and other countries restrict Pakistan for defense technology , after it becomes atomic power. To get defense technology China is best replacement for Pakistan.
In addition, Pakistan needs China to acquire sensitive technology. In the past, Pakistan has done jf 17 thunder, F22 raptor and some other state of the arts project with China. China has also provided industrial technology to Pakistan in the past.
In addition, in the past, China has provided Pakistan with such important facilities as heavy mechanical complex Taxila ,heavy industries Taxila, Chashma nuclear Power Plant and Gwadar Port. This is very important that Pakistan policy makers look upon policy of turn key solutions, Instead, sign technology transfer agreements with China so that we too can move towards gaining autonomy in this area. It is important that Pakistan should strengthened it relations with other countries as well. So that another option can be created for Pakistan and our dependence on any one country should not be too much. It is not wise to keep all the eggs in one basket. Friends, give your suggestions in comments.