Ironclad brothers' bond contributes greatly to regional peace and security


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

The friendship between China and Pakistan has become much stronger since the establishment of diplomatic relations between them 71 years ago, with the two states supporting each other on every international platform, despite the efforts of non-regional powers to drive a wedge between them.

The friendship between Pakistan and China is underpinned by mutual trust, common interests, equality, and a convergent outlook. Adhering to these principles, the two sides have set an apt example of peaceful coexistence.

The two sides' relations are centuries old, when Chinese merchants traded in goods with their counterparts in the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, and Europe via the ancient Silk Road.

With multilateralism becoming the global trend, to the chagrin of certain countries, the changing dynamics of international relations have enabled countries to establish or deepen cooperation and defy conventional notions of confrontation. In this regard, China has become a leading player in regional and international social, political and economic discourse and enjoys the full support of Pakistan.

Furthermore, the Belt and Road Initiative and its flagship project — the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — have helped improve connectivity between the two countries. China is engaging with many countries through the Belt and Road Initiative to promote inclusive economic development. The initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping has proved to be a game changer, creating development opportunities for other countries, especially developing countries, and facilitating global cooperation.

Pakistan has been supportive of all China-proposed development initiatives, and has immensely benefited from China-Pakistan joint ventures including the CPEC, which is not just an economic, infrastructure project but much more than that; it is a signifier of the strong Sino-Pakistani friendship.

The CPEC has enhanced people-to-people contacts, facilitated technological advancement and agricultural development, boosted cultural cooperation, strengthened academic ties, and promoted tourism. The project has also helped transform many remote regions in Pakistan into economic success stories, improving the quality of life and contributing to national development. Thanks to such projects, Pakistan's GDP is projected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2050.

Sino-Pakistani joint collaboration, which started with Chinese economic aid to Pakistan, has led to the establishment of strategic partnership, as well as bilateral collaboration in many fields. The two sides have also strengthened defense relations, and even held joint naval exercises in the Arabian Sea.

All these prove the China-Pakistan friendship is higher than mountains and deeper than oceans. Sino-Pakistani relations have progressed over the years despite the challenges posed by regional and international players.

Moreover, the two countries contribute to regional peace and security. In this context, President Xi's proposals such as the dialogue among civilizations and global cooperation, and building a community with a shared future for mankind have been promoting mutual benefit and prosperity. And Pakistan is working with China to establish an integrated framework of cooperation and regional alignment to find solutions to common problems, in order to help maintain regional and global peace, and bring together countries to overcome common challenges.

The visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China on Nov 1 came at a critical time — at a time of rising global uncertainties and fast-changing global political and economic landscapes. True to their friendship, the two sides signed or concluded several agreements and memorandums of understanding. Also, the meetings between high-level officials of China and Pakistan enabled the latter to share innovative ideas and discuss the future of the CPEC.

The two sides, thanks to their colossal efforts and cooperation in many areas, have paved the way for deepening cooperation and strengthening diplomatic ties. As a matter of fact, while the two countries' relations are strengthening, their development policies are integrating at a faster pace. And hopefully, with joint efforts, China and Pakistan will create more opportunities for mutual and collective benefit and promote mutually beneficial development under a robust framework.

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