Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Pakistan is a country situated in South Asia. Pakistan came into existence on 14 August, 1947 after the British rule ended in the Sub Continent. The total area of Pakistan is 796,096 km. It has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west. India is situated at the eastern side, China in the far northeast of Pakistan; Tajikistan also lies very close to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Strategically it is located in a position between the important regions of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed force and is the only Muslim-majority nation to possess nuclear weapons. It is also the third largest Muslim country and also the seventh largest in population. It is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States and a strategic ally of China. It is a founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Next Eleven economies and the G20 developing nations.
People's Republic of China:
Chinais the most populous state in the world with over 1.3 billion people. It is located in East Asia. China has 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly administered municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two highly autonomous special administrative regions (SARs) – Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital city is Beijing.At about 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles), the PRC is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area, depending on the definition of what is included in that total, and the second largest by land area. Its landscape is diverse, with forest steppes and deserts (the Gobi and Taklimakan) in the dry north near Mongolia and Russia's Siberia, and subtropical forests in the wet south close to Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. The terrain in the west is rugged and elevated, with the Himalayas and the Tian Shan mountain ranges forming China's natural borders with India, Nepal and Central Asia. In contrast, mainland China's eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-kilometre (9,000 mi) long coastlinebounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea, beyond which lie Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
Pakistan and China enjoy exemplary friendly ties, which have not only sustained changes of governments and the ups and downs in the regional and global situation, but, in fact, have been expanding and becoming even deeper. It is in the interest of both the countries to keep an eye on the new and emerging regional and global scenario and come up with appropriate strategy to meet the challenges. The selection of “Regional Situation and Security” for discussion and deliberations between the Chinese and Pakistani scholars is both important and timely.
China and Pakistan are situated in an area that has great geographical importance and hosts almost half of the world’s population. Along with the human resources, the area is also rich in natural material resources. This
speaks volumes about the importance of stability in the region and of amiable relations between the countries situated here. The fact that three of the seven declared nuclear states of the world are situated here, and another, Russia, has its own interests in the region because of Central Asian states’ being contiguous to the region, further adds to the importance of this region.
People's Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s relations began in 1950 when Pakistan was among the first countries to break relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and recognize the People Republic of China (PRC). The relationship has been described by Hu Jintao as "higher than the mountains and deeper than oceans". Favorable relations with China have been a pillar of Pakistan's foreign policy. Following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Pakistan's relations with the PRC became stronger and extremely close; since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. The PRC has provided economic, military and technical assistance or aid to Pakistan and both of them consider as a strategic ally. We look at how the Friendship between Pakistan and China has evolved over the past 50 to 60 years and also the tough phases both have passed through.
PAK-CHINA RELATIONSHIP OVER THE YEARS
Pakistan recognizes China:
Pakistan was one of the first groups of countries that have recognized China. On May 21, 1951, Pakistan becomes third non-communist country, and first Muslim one, to recognize China.Although communism was not a part of Pakistan’s strategy but Pakistan was quick to realize China’s Importance. The two countries officially established their diplomatic relations when Pakistan cut its ties with Taiwan (Republic of China) at that time and officially recognized People’s Republic of China. Pakistan also voted for China’s permanent seat in the UNO later in the years.
At the start Pakistan’s relationship with China was not as great. China and India were considered close allies and Pakistan was somehow neglected between the two. Bilateral relations wereemphasized at the Bandung Conference in 1955, where talks between the two heads of state played an important role in promoting understanding, and developing friendly relations and cooperation between the two countriesthe period between 1957 and 1969 saw a very important phase in the history of the China-Pakistani relations.
|First Pakistani Delegation Visits China; 1953|
During this period, historical changes took place in the bilateral relations, and the change of Pakistan from being hostile toward too friendly with China opened a new chapter in the Sino-Pakistani relations. Between 1957 and 1960, Pakistan followed the West with regard to its position on restoration of China's legal status in the UN, and Taiwan Tibet questions, so the political relations between the two countries were setback. . The actualconsolidation of relations started in the early 1960s, when Pakistanchanged its previous stance In 1961, and voted for the bill concerning the restoration of China's legitimate rights in the UN put to the vote the UN General Assembly, and the Pakistani Government took a step forward in the course of improving the Sino-Pakistani relations.
India China War:
In the 1962 When China and Indiafought a war due to the disputed Himalayan territory and the fire was burnt when India had granted asylum to the Dalai Lama.Chinese troops advanced over Indian forces in both theatres, capturing Rezang la in Chushul in the western theatre, as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre. The war ended when the Chinese declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, and simultaneously announced its withdrawal from the disputed area.
US rushed military assistance to India, which Pakistan, beingallays of the West, considered detrimental to its security concerns and moved out of the Western orbit (SEATO and CENTO). At that point in time, a commonality of interests seemed to be emerging between Pakistan and China. Pakistan fully supported China during the war. During that time China and India were considered natural allies and had very strong relations but after this war the relations between the two countries have derailed a lot. On the Other hand it was exactly the time when Pakistan and China’s relation began to grow, most probably due to the reason that both the countries wanted an ally against India.
Pak China Border Agreement:
In 1962, the two countries, through friendly talks, reached an agreement in principle on the position and alignment of China-Pakistani boundary. It resulted in China ceding over 1,942 square kilometers (749.8 sq mi) to Pakistan and Pakistan recognizing Chinese sovereignty over hundreds of square kilometers of land in Northern Kashmir and Ladakh. The agreement was not recognized as legal by India, which also claims sovereignty over part of the land. In addition to increasing tensions with India, the agreement shifted the balance of the Cold War by bringing Pakistan and China closer together while loosening ties between Pakistan and the United States.
The agreement was moderately economically advantageous to Pakistan, which received grazing lands in the deal, but of far more significance politically, as it both diminished potential for conflict between China and Pakistan. They determined to reach a temporary settlement, with the idea of establishing a permanent one after the settlement of the region of Kashmir under dispute between Pakistan and India.
|A Chinese at the Pakistan-China Border, both the Countries reached an agreement on the Border Issues in 1963|
The Trans-Karakoram Tract:
It is an area of nearly 5,800 km2 (2,239 sq mi) along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan until 1963. It is still claimed by India as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan gave up its claim to the tract under a border agreement with China in 1963 with the proviso that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.
The tract is one of the most inhospitable areas of the world, with some of the highest mountains. The tract is bounded by the Kun Lun Mountains to the north and by the Karakoram peaks to the south, including Broad Peak, K2 and Gasherbrum. On the southeast it is adjacent to the highest battlefield in the world in the Siachen Glacier region.
Karakoram Highway is said to be the highest paved international road in the world, It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, at an altitude of 4,693 m/15,397 ft as confirmed by both SRTM and multiple GPS readings. It connects China's Xinjiang region with Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan and also serves as a popular tourist attraction. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is also referred to as the "Ninth Wonder of the World.
|An Illustrative view of Karakoram Highway, Also Known as the Ninth Wonder of the World|
Karakoram Highway is a symbol of Pakistan-China friendship and this wonder also shows how much Importance both the countries give to each other. Many Chinese Engineers and Workers los there lives in completing this road but not at any stage in the 27 years the Chinese government showed any signs of not helping or taking its hand away from the construction.
Pakistan-India War 1965:
In September 1965 both India and Pakistan fought a war. This war is said to be fought due to the Kashmir issue and also known as the biggest tank war after the World War II. Initially in the war Pakistan had clear success both in the tank war and the Air force wars because there equipment was better than the Indians and was US made. But as the war continued to grow longer Pakistan began to fall back.
This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947. The war began following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
|Pakistan Army in the Indian Captured Check Post|
Both before and during the war, the People's Republic of China had been a major military associate of Pakistan and had invariably admonished India, with whom it had fought a war in 1962. There were also reports of Chinese troop movements on the Indian border to support Pakistan.China played a commendable role in its support of Pakistan in achieving a ceasefire in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war by issuing stern warnings to India. Following the war, China, also in an attempt to compensate for war losses, supported Pakistan with military equipment including tanks and aircraft. In the
1960s, Pakistan-China relations evolved on firm foundations of mutual trust and confidence.
Pakistan-India War 1971:
The Indo-Pakistani conflict was sparked by the Bangladesh Liberation war, a conflict between the traditionally dominant West Pakistanisand the majority East Pakistanis. The Bangladesh Liberation war ignited after the 1970 Pakistani election, in which the East PakistaniAwami League won 167 of 169 seats in East Pakistan and secured a simple majority in the 313-seat lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora(Parliament of Pakistan). Awami League leader Sheikh MujiburRahman presented the Six Points to the President of Pakistan and claimed the right to form the government. After the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, refused to yield the premiership of Pakistan to Mujibur, President Yahiya Khan called the military, dominated by West Pakistanis, to suppress dissent.
|General Niazi (Pakistan) and General Arora (India), Signing the Born of Bangladesh|
Late 1970’s and 1980’s:
The Indian nuclear explosion of 1974 introduced a new dimension to the strategic balance in the region and gave fresh impetus to expanding Pak-China defense cooperation. Between 1971 and 1978, China assisted Pakistan in building two defense-related mega projects, first, the Heavy Rebuild Factory for T–59 tanks, and second, the F–6 Aircraft Rebuild Factory. Chinese intent to make Pakistan self-reliant in the production of a conventional weapons system, without attaching any political strings to its assistance, cultivated deep-rooted respect and goodwill for China in Pakistan.
By 1979, the power center had shifted in China and the Chinese economy was opening up under the new leadership of Deng Xiaoping. Deng’s main plank, that economic relation precedes all other forms of relationship, changed the dynamics of Chinese foreign policy, which shifted closer to the United States.
By the 1980s, China had become the most trusted ally of Pakistan. Throughout the 1980s, Pakistan-China relations continued to develop into a comprehensive relationship. While China improved its relations with India towards the end of the the 1980s, Pakistan did not feel that China’s improving relations with India were at the cost of China’s relations with Pakistan. Although there was a visible shift in the Chinese stance on Kashmir, Pakistani policy makers believed that China’s improved relations with India would act as a restraining factor on Indian belligerency towards Pakistan. Pakistan always supported China on all issues important to Chinese national interests such as sovereignty over Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Tibet and issues relating to human rights and democracy. China always appreciated and counted on Pakistan’s strong support as a trusted friend over all these issues at international forums.
Following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1988–1989, the regional strategic dynamics changed once again. The US, after having achieved its strategic interest of rolling back communist aggression, claimed victory over the former Soviet Union and abandoned Afghanistan. Pakistan’s support was no longer required by the US, so it came under US sanctions for secretly developing nuclear weapons; an issue to which the US turned a blind eye for a decade during the Afghan War. Throughout the 1990s, Pakistan remained under US sanctions and China was the primary source of Pakistan’s military hardware procurements. During this period, Pakistan-China defense-related cooperation also substantially increased. China’s support for Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs became a constant irritant in Sino-US and Sino-Indian relations, especially the issue of supply of M-11 missiles and 500 ring magnets to an “unsafeguarded” nuclear facility. China, on its part, despite tremendous US pressure to cut off high-technology links with Pakistan, remained steadfast in its commitment to strengthen Pakistan’s defense capability.
Nuclear Crisis and Kargil War:
In May 1998, Indian nuclear tests destabilized the strategic balance in South Asia. As a prelude to these tests, the Indian defense minister and prime minister described China as a long-term security threat. While commenting on the Indian assertion, the official Chinese media reported that “India’s explosions have sabotaged the fragile trust built up with Beijing over the past decade.” Following the Indian nuclear tests, Sino- Indian relations suffered a severe setback. Deterioration in Sino-Indian relations reinforced Pakistan’s importance in China’s South Asia policy. Pakistan and China held high-level consultations on the situation in South Asia. China expressed its understanding of Pakistan’s compulsion to go nuclear. It gave Pakistan the confidence to reestablish the strategic balance in South Asia by conducting its own nuclear tests.
The depth of Pakistan-China relations was reflected from the fact that it was after Pakistan had acquired demonstrable nuclear weapons capability that the Chinese leadership gave assurance to the visiting US president Bill Clinton in June 1998 of cooperating with the US on the issue of nuclear proliferation. In 1999, during the Kargil conflict between the two nuclear states, India and Pakistan, China adhered to a strict neutral position. China was concerned over the possibility of escalation of the conflict, and asked both countries to defuse tensions.
The Chinese position of neutrality was duly acknowledged by India, and provided both countries with an opportunity to mend their fences and once again improve their bilateral relations. Pakistan also had a complete understanding of China’s interest to improve bilateral relations with India, especially in the context of evolving Indo- US strategic partnership.
Gwadar is a fishing village on the Arabian Sea coast in the Pakistani province of Balochistan. Balochistan shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran to the west - Gwadar is just 72 kilometers from the Iranian border. More important is Gwadar's proximity to the Persian Gulf. It is situated near the mouth of this strategic body of water, and about 400km from the Strait of Hormuz, a major conduit for global oil supplies.
Pakistan identified Gwadar as a port site in 1964. However, it was only in 2001 that significant steps toward making the proposal a reality were taken, when China agreed to participate in the construction and development of the deepsea port. The arrival of United States in late 2001 in Afghanistan- at China's doorstep - nudged Beijing to step up its involvement in the Gwadar project. In March 2002, Chinese laid the foundation.
|Gwadar Port: A gift that can change the future of Pakistan|
The second phase, which envisages nine more berths, an approach channel and storage terminals, will also be financed by China. In addition to its financial contribution, China has sent about 450 engineers and provided technical expertise for the project.
A road from Gwadar to Saindak, said to be the shortest route between Central Asia and the sea, is under construction. Gwadar would provide landlocked Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics with access to the sea. Goods and oil and gas reserves from these countries could be shipped to global markets through Gwadar port. Pakistan's business community seems to be in favor of Gwadar port being designated a free trade zone and an export-processing zone.
CAC/PAC JF 17 Thunder:
JF Thunder is a light-weight, single engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) of China, the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). It is designated as "JF-17 Thunder" by Pakistan, which is short for "Joint Fighter-17" and as "FC-1 Xiaolong" by China, which is short for "Fighter China-1".
|CAC/PAC JF 17 Thunder: A Pak-China Venture|
The JF-17 is expected to cost approximately US$15 million per unit and the Pakistan Air Force has a confirmed order for 150 JF-17's, which may increase to 250 aircraft. It was reported in 2008 that many countries have placed an order to obtain the Air Crafts. Russia and China had originally signed an end-user certificate for the Klimov RD-93 engines preventing China from exporting the JF-17 to Pakistan, after protests by Pakistan's adversary, India. In 2007 however, the Russian government reversed their decision after the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, signed the permission for re-export of the engines to Pakistan and six other countries.
Killing of Chinese Engineers:
In the year 2006 Three Chinese engineers were killed by gunmen in Southern Pakistan. The victims, Long Hongbao, Wei Jianpin and Zhao Bin, were shot along with other three colleagues when their car were attacked by gunmen on a road in the town of Hub, some 700 km southeast of Quetta, the Balochistan provincial capital. The engineers were working for a Chinese company to prepare equipments and offer technical service for the construction of a local cement factory which will be accomplished in the first half of this year. In the same year a resident of Swat who sheltered a Chinese engineer was found dead on Wednesday, said witnesses, and blamed Taliban for the brutal murder. The body of the man – identified only as Jamauddin and a resident of Khawazakhela – was found in Changalai area of Khawazakhela. The Chinese engineer was kidnapped by Taliban in Dir earlier this year, but he escaped and was sheltered by Jamauddin. Meanwhile, officials said troops had wiped out “unnecessary checkposts” from Amankot, Malookabad, Baba Chowk and other areas of Mingora.
|The Bodies of Chinese Engineers being loaded in the Plane, Three were killed in Terrorist Activities in 2006.|
As fast as, four days after the killing of 3 Chinese engineers in Hub in Balochistan4, and soon before the arrival of President George W. Bush in Islamabad, President Pervez
Musharraf made a short visit to China from February 20 to February 25. The timing of the visit suggested, perhaps, that Pakistan gives greater priority to its strategic partnership with China than it does to its Major Non Nuclear Ally (MNNA) status with the US. During his visit, President Musharraf emphasized on the need to improve relations with China with regard totrade and investment, as well asnuclear energy co-operation and defense co-operation. The Chinesegovernment, in a highly symbolic act,released special postage stamps tocommemorate President Musharraf’svisit and 55 years of diplomaticrelations. Eventually, 13 agreementsand Memorandums of Understandingwere signed in various sectors including energy, trade, defense andcommunications. By these steps all the chances of any misunderstandings between the two countries were laid to rest.
The Current Phase 2000-2011:
After the events of 9/11, Pakistan and China consulted each other on the unfolding situation in the region. On September 18, 2001, a special envoy of the then Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, arrived in Islamabad tomeet General Pervez Musharraf and other officials and discussed the situation emerging as a consequence of the 9/11 attacks. Pakistan’s decision to side with the US and to provide use of its airspace and base facilities had initially raised some concerns in Chinese policy-making circles. However, the exchange of high-level visits clarified the Pakistani position that under no circumstances would Pakistan allow its cooperation with the US to undermine Chinese strategic interests.
During the India-Pakistan military standoff in 2001–2002, China continued with its position of neutrality and played an important role in defusing tensions between India and Pakistan through telephone Diplomacy.
In December 2003, the Pakistan Army in a military operation near the Pak-Afghan border killed HahsanMahsum, the leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, while extraditing a number of alleged terrorists to China. In recent years, antiterrorism-related cooperation between the two countries has constantly been expanding. On August 6, 2004, China and Pakistan conducted their first joint antiterrorism military exercise named “Friendship 2004,” in Xinjiang. In April 2005, during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Islamabad, the two sides signed a treaty of friendship, cooperation and good neighborly relations as well as an agreement on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism.
China warns US of war against Pakistan, during which former president, Pervez Musharraf, visits China, Musharraf raised issues of US attacks inside Pakistan.
Pakistan's foreign office (the first foreign issue to speak of Tibet) speaks for more than three times per month on the Tibet issue, calling for the world to stop opposing China and the Olympic Games. Pakistan welcomee China's Olympic Torch warmly, and did not protest against Tibet when the torch arrived. In fact, when the torch passed through the rural hinterland of the capital Islamabad, local villagers showered rose petals upon the procession. As a result, China thanked Pakistan for its continuous support. In the same year During the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, Pakistan almost emptied its national storage of tents to support China.
In 2009 China donates $260 million (USD) to flood hit Pakistan and further sends 4 military rescue helicopters to Pakistan to assist in rescue operations, it was the first time China has ever sent such rescue operations overseas. Sino-Pak relations proved to be "All-Weathered-Friends". Similarly in 2010 WenJiabao visited Pakistan. More than 30 billion US dollars of deals were signed. Pakistan China friendship center was inaugurated in Islamabad by Prime Minister of China Wen Jiabao.
Even currently in 2011, when Usama Bin Laden was killed in a military operation by US forces in Abbottabad, China was the first country to speak in favour of Pakistan and warned the World against any action against Pakistan and also said that it will defend Pakistan at any cost.
CHINA’S COOPERATION WITH PAKISTAN IN DIFFERENT FIELDS:
Some components of the economic relation between the two countries are bilateral trade, mutual investments (direct/portfolio or both), joint ventures and aids/loans provided to each other. Taking into account these variables, contemporary China-Pakistan economic relation appears quite underdeveloped.
In 2003 Pakistan and China signed a $110 million contract for the construction of a housing project on Multan Road in Lahore. Similarly In 2008 Pakistan and China to build first ever train route through the Karakoram Highway, ultimately linking China’s rail route-net to Gwadar Port.
In October 2009, Pakistan and China agreed to 'propel' trade between the two countries. Both sides opposed to all forms of terrorism, extremism and separatism, resolved to cooperation with each other to fight the above-mentioned three forces, said the Statement adding, China conveyed its complete support to Pakistan’s commitment and efforts to fight terrorism and appreciated the sacrifices made by the government and people of Pakistan in this regard. Five Year Development programe on Economic trades and free trade agreement in goods and investments was also signed.
China also agreed to further develop and boost Pakistan’s Mineral and Energy sector as well as broaden financial and banking sector cooperation.
Both sides inked almost twelve agreements/MOUs during the visit in the fields of economic and technical cooperation, free trade, minerals, petroleum and natural resources, environmental protection, radio and television, space technology, agriculture sector, properties exchange between foreign ministries of the two countries, museum of natural history, cricket field and project of X-Ray container/vehicle inspection system.
In the initial years, export from Pakistan was greater. During the Korean War, Pakistan’s exports of cotton and jute had boomed but soon fell back to pre-War levels. Pakistan’s main items of export were raw cotton, raw wool and jute, which had a huge market in China. On the other hand, Chinese products were less popular in Pakistan because of strict import control regulations and competition from western products. The main items of Chinese exports to Pakistan were machinery, cement and other capital goods. However, Chinese trade suffered as a result because Pakistan used to exchange cotton, hides, wool and rice with coal, iron and steel manufactures, cement and other goods from China. The quality of Chinese finished goods was, however, starkly inferior to the goods coming from other countries and this led to a fall in their demand with suppliers in Pakistan giving minimal preference for Chinese goods. It was one of the major reasons, which stalled the growth of Chinese trade with Pakistan, and it remains true even today.
In May 2001, six major agreements and one MoU were signed. These included agreements on economic and technical cooperation, tourism cooperation, lease of Saindak copper-gold project, supply of locomotives, supply of passenger coaches to railways, white oil pipeline, and a MoU between ZTE and PTCL. China pledged around $1billion to support these agreements and reiterated its commitment to assisting in the construction of Gwadar Port and the Coastal Highway. Prime Minister Zhu Rongji said, “These projects are very important for the development of Pakistan. We will fully support these projects and provide help in this regard.” And support they did eventually, especially in the case of Gwadar and the Coastal Highway.
By the year 2005, Pakistan-China trade had been showing continuous increase and it had reached from around $1 billion in 2000 to $4.5 billion in 2005, which again was in favour of China. From 2000 to 2005, while the FDI in Pakistan increased about 600 percent, China‟s share remained very low.As far as imports are concerned, China has become one of the top five import sources of Pakistan after the opening of its economy. China supplies the bulk of cheap commercial goods all over the world and in the process for Pakistan as well despite a common preference for western goods in Pakistan’s market.
Pakistan hoped that a similar nuclear deal would fructify between Washington and Islamabad. Once it became clear that no such deal would be forthcoming from Washington,Pakistan turned to China as the Indo- US nuclear deal suggested both strategic instability and a security threat. China has already been widely acknowledged as the source ofPakistan’s initial nuclear weapon design, a major partner in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons complex, the major source of Pakistan’s short and medium range solid fuel missile technology, and the likely partner in the development of Pakistan’s Land Attack Cruise Missile tested in 2005.11 China made no dramatic shifts in its nuclear policy and has maintained that it wants to help Pakistan with its growing energy needs.
In 2007 China signed an agreement, to “build co-operation in the peaceful application of nuclear power”, notwithstanding Pakistan’spast record and international suspicion of Pakistan’s nuclear intentions. Pakistan, however, asserts that, having recorded one of the highest levels of economic growth in Asia last year, it will need an eight fold increase in its power requirements.
In January 2006 China and Pakistan negotiated the purchase of 6 to 8 new nuclear power reactors in addition to the Chinese built nuclear reactor now at Chasma in Punjab, built despite a de-facto international embargo. While Pakistan denies any such reports, theIndian press has frequently reported to the contrary, maintaining that China has offered to upgrade Pakistan’s nuclear weapon capa city, as well as help restore the storage facilities destroyed by last year’s October earthquake.
Military and Defense Cooperation:
Pakistan’s relationship with China has been the anchor of its defence and foreign policy over the last 40 years. Defence co-operation is especially important for Pakistan as China serves the purpose of a high- value guarantor against India.14 China has proven to bea reliable supplier of conventional military equipment for Pakistan, selling F-7 fighters, a version of the T- 96 main battle tank, and subsidizing the future construction of four frigates for the Pakistan navy. Further to China committed to deliver the first small batch of JF-17 (Thunder) Aircrafts to Pakistan in 2007.
Pakistan also promised to expand military co-operation and defence production with regard to aircrafts, fighter bombers, tanks, and heavy artillery. The probable sale of F-10s was also discussed. It has been opined that this enhanced military cooperation could herald a shift in the centre of gravity from Europe to Asia, with China at the forefront followed by Pakistan.Pakistan's missile development programme was started in the 1980s with the active assistance from the Chinese. Sino-Pak missile collaboration goes back to 1986 when Pakistan started assembling the RBS-70 Mk 1 and Mk 2 air defence missiles systems.
Collaboration in the area of longer range missiles with the Chinese began once Pakistan became involved in financing their M-9 and M-11 missiles programmes. The Karakoram-8 (or K-8) was a joint venture between the China National Aero technology Import Export Corporation (CATIC), China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CNAMC) and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) established in 1986.
The indigenous development of the MBT Al Khalid was also started with the help of the Chinese. This began in 1988 when Pakistan started building a manufacturing plant at Taxila (completed in 1992). The Pakistan Navy, on 23 May 2006 Pakistan clinched a $600 million defense deal with China, which includes the construction of four F-22P frigates for the Pakistani Navy, the upgrading of the Karachi dockyard and the transfer of technology for the indigenous, the first frigate would be delivered to Pakistan in 2008 and the other three by 2013, along with transfer of technology.
The People's Republic of China's relationship with Pakistan has often been regarded as all weather and time tested. This friendship for both the Asian countries holds great importance and is priceless in terms of common interest and geo-strategic alliance.
In recent years the friendship has deepened even further and China has several defense treaties with Pakistan. China has been a steady source of military equipment and has cooperated with Pakistan in setting up weapons production and modernization facilities. The trade between the two countries has increased over the last decade but there is a place for improvement between the economic and trade sector.
The need of the time is that both countries stick with each other and make this brotherly relation even stronger. Pak-China relation is not only brought up on the political level but people of both the countries share a deep and special bond. It was obvious from the visit of Chinese President and the reception He got from the people of Pakistan that all the people of Pakistan have a special place for China in their hearts. Chin has supported Pakistan on all the issues and Pakistan on the other hand has supported China fully. In short it is fairly true that Pakistan-China friendship is tested and tried one and absolutely “higher than the mountains and deeper than oceans.”