Time tested Sino-Pakistan relations
Sino-Pak relations have withstood the test of time and signify the expression of mutual respect, deep sentiments of affinity and natural political alliance. Relations between the two are based on righteous policies and principled pledges, which have culminated in each nation providing support to the proposals, plans and interests of the other at regional and international forums, including conclaves and conventions at the United Nations, global trade moots, resolution of regional and international disputes and initiatives to espouse ethical and legal issues while endorsing initiatives having political implication for both China and Pakistan.
China has been unequivocal in its support of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir and the related UN resolutions on the subject.
Both countries have complete unity of thought regarding each other’s strategic thinking and policy framework.
Wise leaders on both sides have framed superlatives to describe Sino-Pak relations but the depth and strength of the ties are beyond words since they are a manifestation of the feelings of two nations and not just their governments or leaders.
The new leaderships, which took up the mantle of control in both China and Pakistan, in keeping with tradition, gave preference to visiting each other and reiterating iron-clad bonds as well as examining fresh avenues of development and economic opportunities with divergent spread of commerce, trade and business in the regional and international arenas.
The all weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China is sometimes viewed with envy and, at times, petty jealousy by some regional as well as international powers like the US and some other powers of the Occident.
The region, including the Indian Ocean, is rich with natural resources and an energy-starved world is vying to acquire control of mineral reserves as well as oil, gas and coal reserves.
Their ambitions know no bounds. And in keeping with their colonial philosophy and bid to dominate energy sources, they are tempted to try and create a wedge between China and Pakistan by igniting mistrust and planting seeds of doubt between the two friends.
A recent analysis titled ‘China in Pakistan: An Awkward Relationship Beneath the Surface’, published by the Royal United Strategy Institute (RUSI Newsbrief, January 15, 2014) is a clear example of this kind of thinking.
The US and other Western powers, being economic rivals of China, are trying to create suspicions between China and Pakistan, who are planning to undertake mega economic projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor connecting the Pakistani port of Gwadar with Kashgar in Xinjiang region of China, construction of dams for Pakistan, which has been badly hit by the energy deficit, and Chinese investment in the Pakistani textile, energy, banking, commerce, telecommunications and industry sectors, and numerous other development projects.
It appears that the evergreen friendship between China and Pakistan has become a major source of concern for the economic rivals of China.
An article titled ‘Cheen ki WikiLeaks’ (Wikileaks of China) in a leading Pakistani Urdu daily, published on January 27, 2014, also expressed similar sentiments over Pak-China cooperation, claiming that rampant corruption in China will be hazardous for Pakistan.
The op-ed recommended that the government of Pakistan should not place all its eggs in the Chinese basket.
The article maliciously implied that the Chinese are likely to cheat their Pakistani counterparts.
It is not a mere coincidence that all the sources quoted by the author of the article are western websites (The Global Mail and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), thus casting a shadow of doubt on the veracity of the report.
The leadership as well as the people of Pakistan must be cognisant of the mindset of the protagonists who are bent upon driving fissures into Sino-Pak relations.
The rapid growth and development of China, which has propelled it to become the second largest economy of the world, poised to take the leading position, has caused the Occident to be wary of the Chinese.
Pakistan’s endeavour to benefit from its Chinese deep-rooted friendship and largesse to come out of the current morass of economic catastrophe is also viewed with misgivings. The detractors of Pakistan would like to see Pakistan unstable and weak. The antagonists of Sino-Pak relations must realise that Pak-China friendship is based on special bonds and that both countries wish to see these relations grow further and remain everlasting.
Hali is renowned Pakistani scholar who writes on political, social and foreign policy matters.