“China-Pakistan: All Weather Cooperative Partners and Iron Brothers’’


Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram,

Executive Director,  

Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future,

 jointly established with Communication University of China (CUC),  Beijing, China

“A friend in need is a friend indeed’’
The historic evolution of the Pakistan-China relationship can be witnessed in the context of changing regional and global developments. Now, 71 years of exceptional friendship have grown manifold as both states have supported each other on every international platform. The non-regional powers tried to create many ups and down in diplomatic and economic partnerships. However, they have remained failed to rupture the strong bond between both nations. The true model of Pak-China friendship is underpinned by the rationale of mutual trust, common interests, equality, and a convergent outlook. While adhering to these fundamental principles, it is a proud time to see the China-Pakistan relationship as a model of peaceful coexistence.

The mutual attachment of true friendship date back to centuries-old trade relations, when Chinese traders travel through the sub-continent for business trips to Europe, the Middle East, and the world’s other parts via the ancient Silk Route. Presently, the world has been experiencing transformation along with multi-polarity. The changing dynamics of global politics and multilateral civilizational patterns have enabled countries to indulge in cooperation and defy conventional notions of confrontation. In this aspect, China has emerged as a significant player in regional and international socio-politico and economic discourse with the full support of Pakistan.

Furthermore, Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and its flagship project, i.e., China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have provided a new impetus to the bilateral connectivity of both states. China is engaging all countries through its grand visions of cooperation and inclusive economic development. The grand project (BRI) presented by President Xi Jinping has proved to be a ‘game changer’ that has brought many new changes in the discourse of international relations and global cooperation. These initiatives of grand alignments have always acquired full support from Pakistan. The leadership remained one of the best allies of China in every leap and bound.

It is high time to recall with pride the collective achievements of China-Pakistan and draw advanced horizons for taking the truly unique partnership forward. In this era, CPEC is the major highlight of both countries’ relationships. It is not just an economic-infrastructure project but has gone beyond its boundary and included many new pillars. For instance, enhancing people-to-people contacts, technological advancement, agriculture development, cultural cooperation, strengthening academic ties, and tourism. Through this project, many remote regions of Pakistan have transformed into great economic hubs. The socioeconomic quality of life has been upgraded and people are contributing actively towards CPEC and national progress. It has been anticipated that the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan will be US$ 4.2 trillion by 2050 as the project covers and cooperate in all the major dimensions and beyond.

The joint collaboration that started with economic assistance can lead to strategic partnerships and collaboration in many other fields. China state’s policy has consistently recognized Pakistan’s potential part in enhancing the strategic partnership. Both countries have deepened their defence ties on overland routes through CPEC to foster maritime diplomacy through joint naval exercises in the Arabian sea. The famous lines ‘Sweeter than Honey, Higher than Mountains’ regarding Islamabad-Beijing relations are gaining strong ground despite the challenges posed by regional or international players.

It is imperative to highlight that both states proactively contribute to regional peace and security through the narratives of building alliances. In this context, President Xi’s exceptional ideas, such as ‘Dialogue among Civilizations’ and ‘Building a Community with Shared Future for mankind’ are resulting in achieving mutual benefits and prosperity. Likewise, Pakistan is also working closely with China to establish an integrated framework of cooperation and grand regional alignments to find solutions for common menaces. These narratives will definitely bring peace, unite nations, and tackle the issues with a shared approach.

The forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing on 1st November 2022 will be held during the most crucial time. Many areas of joint cooperation, along with the signing of MoU/agreements, are expected to take place. Meetings with high-level dignitaries and members of the CPC will enable Pakistani leadership to share innovative ideas and discuss the future agenda of CPEC.  Colossal efforts, cooperation in many areas and assisting each other in every leap and bound have paved the way for future cooperation and profound diplomatic ties.  With each passing day, this relationship is becoming more closely integrated into each other’s respective development strategies. Therefore, with joint efforts, China and Pakistan will make new grounds for collective benefits and win-win development under a robust framework.

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