"If your environment is changing, you must change with it. If you don’t, you perish." – Curtis E. Sahakian
1. China is a modern developing country with good economic and political condition. It is the biggest ancient society with flair towards modern culture and values. China has very good relations with its neighbours like Pakistan. Pakistan was one of the first countries of the world to recognise China, and since then they have very good relations with each other.
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2. Pakistan and China entered into a trade agreement in January 1963 which granted reciprocal "Most Favoured Nation" status in matters of commerce, trade and shipping. Trade between the border regions of China and Pakistan started in 1969 after the first protocol of trade was signed. This border trade has continued to grow with the patronage of both the countries. Further trade protocols have been signed over the years. The construction of the Karakoram Highway has helped to further trade and communication. Pakistan is an important country for China in trade. A lot of projects of economic development in Pakistan are in process with the co-operation of China which are creating lot ofjobs opportunityfor both Pakistan and China.
4. This dissertation proposes to study and analyse the growing economic relations between Pakistan & China, its impact on the security of India and to recommend measures to negate the same by India.
5. Is the growing economic relations between Pakistan & China having an adverse impact on the security of India? If yes, what actions should India take to negate them?
7. This study concentrates on analysing only the Economic relationship between Pakistan and China and the impact of the same on Indo – Pak relations with special emphasis on India’s security.
8. The study is not looking into the military, diplomatic and nuclear relationship between the two countries and the impact these relations are having on India’s security and Indo – Pak relations.
11. It is proposed to study the subject in the following manner:-
(a) Chapter II. Strategic Relationship and it scope.
(b) Chapter III. Historical Perspective of strategic relations between Pakistan and China.
(c) Chapter IV. China’s “String of Pearls Policy” & Pakistan’s place in it.
(d) Chapter V. Growing economic ties between Pakistan and China.
(e) Chapter VI. Security Issues for India.
(f) Chapter VII. Recommendations to negate this strategic relationship by India.
Interest does not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.
-Woodrow T. Wilson
No nation is an island. Because domestic policies are constantly affected by developments outside, nations are compelled to enter into dialogue with other nations or initiating entities or form alliance(s) for the purpose of enhancing their status internationally, or increasing their power or prestige and survival in the international system.
The concept of strategic relations is quite old. Humans have been establishing governments and communicating with each other for thousands of years. However, it is generally agreed to that international relations truly began to emerge around the 15th century, when people started exploring the world and interacting with other governments and cultures. Organisations like the Dutch East India Company were among the first multinational corporations, while representatives of various European governments met with foreign governments to establish trade agreements and to discuss issues of mutual concern.
The formal history of strategic relations is often traced back to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, where the modern state system was developed. Westphalia instituted the legal concept of sovereignty. Westphalia encouraged the rise of the independent nation-state(s), the institutionalisation of diplomacy and armies. This European system was then exported to the Americas, Africa, and Asia via colonisation and the "standards of civilisation". The contemporary international system was eventually established through decolonisation after the Cold War.
There are many definitions of Strategic Relations written by numerous authors & on the web world. Some relevant ones are as given below.
Agreement between two or more entities to conduct specified activities or processes, to achieve specified objectives such as product development or distribution.
Strategic Relations refers to the collective interactions of the international community, which includes individual nations and states, inter-governmental organisations such as the United Nations, non-governmental organisations, multinational corporations, and so forth. The term is also used to refer to a branch of political science which focuses on the study of these interactions.
Strategic Relations is the study of the relations of states with each other and with international organisations and certain sub-national entities (e.g., bureaucracies and political parties). It is related to a number of other academic disciplines, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.
Strategic Relations is the study of the relations among states and other political and economic units in the international system. Particular areas of study within the field of international relations include diplomacy and diplomatic history, international law, body of rules considered legally binding in the relations between national states, also known as the law of nations.
Strategic Relations is the interaction between and among states, and more broadly, the workings of the international system as a whole. It can be conceived of either as a multidisciplinary field, gathering together the international aspects of politics, economics, history, law, and sociology, or as a meta-discipline, focusing on the systemic structures and patterns of interaction of the human species taken as a whole.
– Barry Buzan
Strategic Relations is an area of knowledge based on political science, law, economy, sociology, philosophy, and other social sciences. Traditionally, it not only treats the relations between nation states, but also, International Organisations and non-state actors in the international arena, like non-governmental organisations, and multinational corporations.
Strategic Relationship represents the study of foreign affairs and global issues among states within the international system, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). It is both an academic and public policy field, and seeks to analyse as well as formulate the foreign policy of a particular state. Apart from political science, Strategic Relations draws upon such diverse fields as economics, history, international law, philosophy, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies. It involves a diverse range of issues including globalisation, state sovereignty, ecological sustainability, nuclear proliferation, nationalism, economic development, global finance, terrorism, organised crime, human security, foreign interventionism and human rights.
There are two main approaches to the field of International Relations. The first is the "Realist" or "Pragmatist" approach. This claims that conflict is inevitable and the best way to approach international relations is to be prepared to engage in conflicts – and win. The second approach is the "Structuralist" approach and is symbolised by diplomacy, according to which conflict is not inevitable, focusing on the causes of conflict, stressing on the costs of conflict vis – a – vis possible gains. This school of thought has been heavily influenced by Galtung’s theory of structural violence.
Broadly speaking, the two approaches to International Relations can be attributed to either side of the Atlantic: Realism is seen as a primarily American worldview while Structuralism is seen as typically European.
Considering the vast spectrum of the subject, Strategic Relations can become incredibly complex. The subject is also sometimes known as “foreign relations”. Specialists in this field staff diplomatic agencies abroad, provide consultation to businesses which are considering to establish branches overseas, and assist charitable non-governmental organisations with their missions.
The opinions we hold of one another, our relations with friends and kinfolk are in no sense permanent, save in appearance, but are as eternally fluid as the sea itself.
– Marcel Proust
Pakistan’s attitude towards China is determined by its geography, economic constraints, domestic compulsions and the regional and international situation. The erstwhile fragmented shape of Pakistan, i.e. East and West Pakistan, had greatly contributed to the establishment of Pakistan’s close relations with China. Geographic constraints on account of Pakistan’s location, topography and the nature of its frontiers, gave rise to security problems for Pakistan. With the construction of highways connecting China and Pakistan, through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, China acquired an easy approach to Pakistan. This turned out as a mixed blessing for Pakistan. So long as relations with China are friendly, there is no threat from the North. But in case of strained Sino – Pak relations, there would be a grave threat from China. Pakistani policy makers were conscious of this constraint and did express their fears in an unambiguous manner. President Ayub Khan wrote in his political autobiography:-
West Pakistan is wedged in between three enormous powers with the Soviet Union at the top, the People’s Republic of China in the North – East, and India in the South and East. I know of no other small country which has the somewhat dubious distinction of having three such mighty neighbours.
A number of considerations prompted Pakistan to strengthen its economic and trade ties with China. Firstly, like China, Pakistan was a developing country and the two countries faced common problems in the field of agriculture and industrialisation. China had successfully solved the problem of water – logging, salinity and floods, which Pakistan could benefit from. Secondly, the aid offered by China was very attractive as it carried rock-bottom low rate of interest or no interest at all. Thirdly, China showed interest in setting up heavy industries in Pakistan – Taxila Industrial Complex, assisted by China is an example. Fourthly, trade with China was beneficial to Pakistan as the balance of the trade generally went in favour of Pakistan and rarely in favour of China. Fifthly, 1962 Sino – India war turned Pakistan towards China to counter India. Sixthly, US support to India increased after the Sino – India war to counter China, this was resented by Pakistan, which China exploited to wean the influence of US from Pakistan and get a foothold in the Indian subcontinent. And finally, the Kashmir issue. Pakistan adjudged its relations with other countries in terms of their attitude towards the Kashmir issue. Pakistan regarded China as a friend since its hostility towards India in 1962 and its involvement in the Kashmir issue thereafter.
The location of Tibet and Xinjiang on the north of the Indian subcontinent places China in a position to intervene militarily in a confrontation between India and Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway can be used by China for sending arms and ammunition and even the forces. In 1971, Indo – Pakistan war, it was used for this purpose. With a view to combating India, Pakistan has been seeking a political counterweight against it. Finding that China was interested in undermining India’s political influence in the Afro – Asian world, Pakistani leaders thought that China could serve as a counterweight against India. It was, therefore, a Pakistani objective to seek China’s political support against India.
After Pakistan’s creation in 1947, Pakistan’s relations with China were in a dormant state. In 1950, Pakistan officially recognised the People’s Republic of China, and broke off ties with Taiwan. Bilateral relations were further strengthened at the Bandung Conference in 1955, when talks between the two heads of state played an important role in promoting, understanding and paving way for friendly relations and mutual assistance between the two countries. In 1961, Pakistan furthered its relations with China when it voted in favour of China’s restoration rights in the UN.
Sino-Pak relations got a shot in the arm, with deteriorating Sino-Indian relations which resulted in a war in 1962. China and Pakistan consequently met and agreed on the border between them, in 1963, and the Karakoram Highway was consequently built, connecting China’s Sinkiang (Xinjiang-Uygur) Autonomous Region with the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
In 1963 itself, a historic trade agreement between China and Pakistan was signed. Following this, diplomatic meetings were fairly frequent. Their strategic cooperation started out due to a mutual need to counter the Soviet Union and India, but later gave birth to Economic cooperation as well. China supported Pakistan in the two wars against India, in 1965 and 1971, with military as well as economic help. These foundations further led to the creation of a Joint Committee for Economy, Trade and Technology in 1982. By the late 1980s, China started discussing possible sales of military equipment and related technology to Pakistan.
In the year 1996, Jiang Zemin, the then Chinese President, made a state visit to Pakistan. During the visit, the decision to establish comprehensive friendship and cooperation between the two nations was taken. Relations, since then have continued to move smoothly along the same path.
In 2005, China and Pakistan signed a landmark ‘Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation’, whereby they committed that “Neither party will join any alliance or bloc which infringes upon the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity” of either nation. Also reiterated was the agreement that both parties “would not conclude treaties of this nature with any third party”.
Hence, during the post Cold War era, China turned out to be Pakistan’s most significant strategic guarantor as far as India was concerned. It was also the source of initial design information for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and also assisted with building of the nuclear technology complex. Since the late 1990s, economic concerns have gained prominence alongside the military-strategic aspect of the relationship; specifically, trade and energy have taken precedence. Over the years, frequent exchanges of high-level visits and contacts between the two countries have resulted in a number of bilateral trade agreements and investment commitments. A comprehensive free trade agreement was signed in 2008, giving each country unprecedented market access to the other. Trade between Islamabad and Beijing now hovers around $7 billion a year and both sides are set on raising the to $15 billion by 2010.
Apart from their other characteristics, the outstanding thing about China’s 600 million people is that they are “poor and blank.” This may seem a bad thing, but in reality it is a good thing. Poverty gives rise to the desire for change, the desire for action and the desire for revolution. On a blank sheet of paper free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted.
A string of pearls strategy is a strategic move which involves establishing a series of nodes of military and economic power throughout a region. Each node is a “pearl” in the string, enhancing the overall power of the parent nation
The “String of Pearls Strategy” is an excellent way to enfold a greater area of territory, thereby gaining more influence on the global stage, but it often evokes comment from other nations, who may be concerned that the string of pearls strategy is the first step in a serious takeover or military threat.
Several things are included in a ‘String of Pearls Strategy’. The first is increased access to airfields and ports. This may be accomplished by building new facilities or through establishing cordial relations with other nations to ensure access to their ports. In some cases, the strategy involves heavily subsidising construction of new ports and airfield facilities in other countries, with the understanding that these facilities will be made readily available as needed.
Developing better diplomatic relations is also a crucial step in a ‘String of Pearls Strategy’. Partly, this is undertaken to ensure that shipping lanes and airspace remain free and clear for that particular nation. It may also be used to soothe concerns about a rapidly expanding string of pearls, and to establish solid trade and export agreements which may ultimately benefit both nations. Since a string of pearls strategy may rely on linking a series of pearls, it is important to ensure that each pearl is also safe, and that it will not be threatened by neighbouring nations.
Modernising military forces is the third component. A modern military can more effectively maintain and hold individual pearls, and it will also be prepared for various actions and exercises on the part of the parent nation. The modernised military also supports a country’s rise as a global power, and as a nation which commands respect.
For nations which are slowly encircled in a string of said pearls, a string of pearls strategy can be upsetting. A country may also slowly take over shipping lanes, which is an issue of concern to nations which are not closely allied with it.
China’s String of Pearl Strategy is driven by China’s need to secure foreign oil and trade routes critical to its development. This has meant establishing an increased level of influence along sea routes through investment, port development and diplomacy.
China’s investments presently extend from Hainan Island in the South China Sea, through the littorals of the Straits of Malacca, including port developments in Chittagong in Bangladesh, Sittwe, Coco, Hianggyi, Khaukphyu, Mergui and Zadetkyi Kyun in Myanmar; Laem Chabang in Thailand; and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. They extend across the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, and in islands within the Arabian Sea and into the Persian Gulf.
Thus, part of these developments includes the upgrading of airstrips, many supported with military facilities, such as the facility on Woody Island, close to Vietnam. These developments may be directed at shifting the balance of power within the Indian and Arabian Gulf, away from the traditional Indian government management to China. However, it needs to be backed up with regional diplomatic ties, which China must look at to dispense with the need to engage with India.
The strategy has been developed partially in response to a lack of progress on the Kra Canal project in Thailand, which would directly link the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea.
Isthumus of Kra & It’s Strategic Location for China’s Shipping Lanes
The “string of pearls” strategy however provides a forward presence for China along the sea lines of communication that now anchor China directly to the Middle East. The question is, whether this strategy is intended purely to ensure secure supply lines and trade routes, or whether China will later use these in a bid to enforce regional supremacy.
As long as Chinese interests remain benign, the “string of pearls” strategy remains the strongest pointer that China is strengthening its energy supply lines with the Middle East and embarking on a level of Southeast Asian trade. This would definitely result in the development of regional prosperity, that will come with China’s these actions. If the strategy continues without the development of regional conflicts, the ASEAN trading bloc, with China at its heart, and the massive emerging markets of India and the other Southeast Asian nations close by, will develop and begin to rival that of the EU and the United States, and lessen China’s dependence on these traditional export markets.
The People’s Republic of China is believed to be an ideological state wedded to the Communist ideology based on Marxism – Leninism. China’s relations with other countries can be explained on the basis of two conceptual frameworks – based on “Alliance Model” and on “United Front Model”. However, with Pakistan, China’s relations appear to be on the “Alliance Model”. This model sees China’s foreign policy as “concerned with short problems, externally determined and reactive. It sees China’s concern for security as the dominant theme of China’s foreign policy”.
There is an immense desire in China to achieve the status of a Super Power. The first step towards that direction is to achieve a dominant position in Asia. The Indian sub-continent is one of the important areas in this region. In order to be a dominant power, China needs to have an effective dominance in the sub-continent. To this effect, India poses a challenge to China in the region. China is therefore keen to weaken India and who better than Pakistan can be utilised for this purpose by China.
USSR, which used to be a friend, guide and protector for China during the initial years of their formation in 1950, began to be considered as a rival and an unreliable ally by the end of the 1950s. Subsequent closeness of USSR with India and her attempts to befriend Pakistan in the 1960s, especially after the 1965 Indo – Pak war, led to increased differences between the two countries. China was interested in preventing the Soviet Union from spreading its influence in Pakistan. Knowing that USSR could not befriend Pakistan at the cost of India, China decided to make friends with Pakistan with the aim of preventing the USSR from spreading its influence in South Asia using a powerful India.
China’s strategic objectives in Pakistan stem from the fact that Xinjiang and Tibet are contiguous to the Indian sub-continent and China is still consolidating itself in these regions. Pakistan occupies certain areas of Kashmir which have immense strategic value in view of this. Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) is located in a region where China, India and Afghanistan meet together. The religious affinity between the people of Xinjiang and Pakistan along with the history of repeated revolts by the Xinjiang people against the Chinese government forced China to sign a boundary agreement with Pakistan in 1963 to acquire strategically important areas to keep the influence of the Pakistani fundamentalism away from the people of Xinjiang.
Pakistan’s geography was helpful in supporting Chinese positions in the North-East in the Chumby Valley (prior to formation of Bangladesh) and in the Ladakh region in the rear of Indian positions. Thus Pakistan d and still s decisively in the defence of China’s southern flank – resulting in close ties between the two countries.
The proximity of the Indian sub-continent to Xinjiang and Tibet, Pakistan’s location in the sub – continent and the affinity existing between the Muslims of Xinjiang and Pakistan are matters of great importance for China in its geo – political calculations. It could also be China’s objective to keep things simmering in South Asia by exploiting the Indo – Pakistan disputes so that they may weaken each other by confrontation, leaving adequate space for China to be effective in the region. All the above reasons have led to an increased proximity of the Chinese policies towards Pakistan.
China’s bond with Pakistan allowed the former a greater sphere of influence in to South Asia, as well provided a bridge between the Muslim world and Beijing. Though, traditionally, the driving factor for China was a hedge against India and getting strategic leverage against India, relations with China gave Pakistan access to civilian and military resources also. To this day, the relationship between the two countries is of high strategic importance, the military relationship with China being the corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. And in return, Pakistan is helpful in realising China’s dream of establishing her influence over the globe.
To attract good fortune, spend a new penny on an old friend.
– an old Chinese proverb
Though political relations hold the maximum importance between countries, the economic relations are also noteworthy and infact, in recent times, have become one of the most significant factors in determining a nation’s foreign relations policy. Broadly, the economic relations can be divided into two forms – trade and aid.
During the Han Dynasty, trade existed between Ancient China and Ancient India on camels and yaks along the silk route for almost 3,000 years. Infact, the silk route connecting China and Pakistan was closed down in 1949 and was re-opened in 1967 between the two countries. After partition, trade with India came to a standstill for Pakistan. Hence, Pakistan’s search for a trading partner to sell jute and cotton in return of coal, iron, cement etc prompted Pakistan to establish economic relations with China. Silk Route
Economic and cultural interaction between Pakistan and China began in the 1950s. In April 1955, the late Premier Zhou Enlai held talks with the then Pakistan Prime Minister, M. Ali, during the Bandung Conference, and both sides agreed to strengthen bilateral ties. In January 1963, China and Pakistan signed their fist trade agreement. This was followed up with the “Cultural Agreement” between the two countries in 1965. The bonding established between the two states has continued ever since, with both countries looking at closer ties with each other for respective benefits. The relations between Pakistan and China were restricted to trade relations till 1964, however, it was in 1965, for the first time, that Pakistan started receiving Chinese aid. In 1978, the Karakoram Highway was officially opened to trade between both countries. In 1986, China and Pakistan reached a comprehensive nuclear cooperation agreement which resulted in a 300-megawatt nuclear power plant built with Chinese help in Punjab province, which was completed in 1999.
President Pervez Musharraf took over power of Pakistan in October 1999 and since then the economic aspect became a major factor in Pakistan-China relations. During his visit to China in January 2000, he laid a great deal of emphasis on economic cooperation and hence the economic relations between the two countries slowly began to improve, both – in trade and investments. The Chinese side too reciprocated positively by enhancing economic activity between the two countries.
The Chinese Premier at that time, Zhu Rongji, while visiting Pakistan in May 2001, urged the two sides to “boost cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, information technology and other fields under the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefit for achieving common prosperity”.During this visit, Pakistan and China signed six Agreements and one MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). The Chinese financial assistance to Pakistan at that time was roughly over one billion dollars. The six agreements included Economic and Technical Cooperation, Tourism Cooperation, Lease Agreement on Saindak Copper-Gold Project, Supply of Locomotives to Pakistan Railways, Supply of Passenger Coaches to Pakistan Railways, White Oil Pipeline and MoU between China’s ZTE and Pakistan Telecommunications Co. Ltd. Besides, the most important aspect of increasing economic cooperation was that the Chinese Premier reiterated his support for the Gwadar deep sea port and the Mekran coastal highway projects. Mekran Coastal Highway
During his visit to China in November 2003, President Musharraf’s signed a “Joint Declaration on Direction of Bilateral Relations.” It was a road-map to determine the direction and scope of overall Pakistan-China bilateral relations in the future. It laid additional emphasis on increasing the economic cooperation between the two countries and institutionalising mechanisms for consolidating an all-round relationship.
In December 2004, the two countries signed seven agreements in the sectors of trade, communication and energy. They also formulated a framework for enhanced cooperation between them. These agreements revolved around enhancing the bilateral trade, further progress on preferential trade agreement, setting up of joint agro-based industries and increasing of Chinese investments in Pakistan.
In April 2005, as many as 21 agreements and MoUs were signed between the two countries. These included cooperation in economy, defence, energy, infrastructure, social sector, health, education, higher education, housing and various other areas. The two countries also signed a “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighbourly Relations”.
In January 2006, the Early Harvest Programme was launched to encourage bilateral trade, under which China extended zero-rated tariffs on 767 items while Pakistan reciprocated by extending the facility on 464 items.
In November 2006, China and Pakistan signed a FTA (free trade agreement). As per the agreement, China and Pakistan would reduce the tariffs on all goods in two phases. The aim of the agreement is to eliminate tariffs on no less than 90 percent of products, both in terms of tariff lines and trade volume, within a reasonably short period of time and on the basis of taking care of the concerns of both sides. The Early Harvest Programme, which had commenced in January 2006, was merged into the FTA. Also, China vowed to help Pakistan in civil nuclear technology by building and helping in the Khusab Nuclear Programme providing technology to Pakistan for better maintenance of civil nuclear plants.
In 2009, Pakistan and China signed a number of agreements and MoUs. These included construction of Bunji Dam in the Northern Areas with a capacity of 7,000 Megawatts, provision of soft loans for space, space technology and alternate energy including an amount of U.S. $ 190 million to supply Pakistani satellite PAKSAT-1R, which will replace the present satellite PAKSAT-1 that has a useful life until 2011. This loan will cover 85 percent of project costs.
The details of trade statistics between Pakistan and China from 1994 – 2008 are as given at Table 1.
On analysing the trade statistics between the two countries, right from the period under review, i.e. 1993 – 2008, one can clearly see that China has exported goods much more to Pakistan than Pakistan to China. The difference is not less, but almost five times of exports of each other. The direct implication as regards to the trade between the two countries appears that it is more a requirement of China to keep Pakistan as a friend than Pakistan to keep China happy. Loss of trade to Pakistan would greatly affect Chinese economy by almost US $ 6 million, as of 2008, and taking the growth in exports at the rate of 10%, as the trend suggests, it would be almost US $ 6.6 million.
Secondly, having trade equation with Pakistan, China has a firm foot in South – Asia. It appears that China is making a conscious effort to make Pakistan dependent on itself, so that it can exploit Pakistan to it’s advantage as and when required – be it against India or South Asia as a whole.
Considering the economic and political crisis Pakistan has been going through, the country needed an economic foundation which would cement its relationship with China. Keeping that in mind, the Five Years Economic Cooperation Program document was signed in 2006 by Pakistan with China. It envisaged promotion of investment through different projects and to increase the trade up-to US$ 15 Billion by 2011. 61 projects were identified under the said plan which are at different stages of their implementation.
The proposed Bunji dam is estimated to cost up to US $ 7 billion and will have a capacity to generate 7,000 megawatts of electricity. Under the deal, undertaken on a build-operate-transfer basis, all the investment will be made by Chinese entrepreneurs.
China and Pakistan also plan to link the Karakoram Highway to the southern Pakistani port of Gwadar in southwestern Balochistan province through the
Chinese-built Gwadar – Dalbandin railway, which extends up to the Pakistan garrison city of Rawalpindi. The Karakoram Highway will be widened from 10 meters to 30 meters, and its capacity will be increased three times. The upgraded road will also be constructed to particularly accommodate heavy-laden vehicles and extreme weather conditions.
The dry port at Sost, on the Pakistan-China border, is connected by the Karakoram Highway to Karimabad, Gilgit and Chilas on the south and the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in the north. The port has the potential to act as a conduit of trade for Central Asian states.
Islamabad is also poised to undertake the construction of the $12.6
billion Diamer-Bhasha dam, with a capacity to generate 4,500 MW of electricity per day. Work on the dam is to begin this month and is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The project, on the Indus River, is 165km downstream of Gilgit and 40km downstream of Chilas.
China is also involved in a 750-kilometer railway linking the two countries, from Havellian to the 4,730-meter-high Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan, the area until recently known as the Northern Areas. Havellian is linked with the rest of the rail network in Pakistan, and the Chinese will lay track within its territory up to Khunjerab. The two countries have agreed to cooperate in modernizing and strengthening existing Pakistan Railways tracks and converting them to meet international standards. China is to send its experts to assist in feasibility studies for the railways projects, which would be carried out on a build-own-operate basis. Pakistan Railways has also purchased 69 locomotives, of which 15 were delivered as completely built units and are in use by Pakistan Railways. The remaining 54 are to be built at Pakistan Railways’ locomotive factory. The Chinese locomotives are 37% cheaper than the European locomotives. .
A proposed Pakistan-China energy and trade corridor, involving gas and oil pipelines and a rail link, would start in Gwadar and enter China’s Xinjiang region after running through the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Defence production-related cooperation has also expanded in recent years between the two countries. Pakistan and China have jointly developed JF-17 Thunder—a multi-role fighter aircraft. Pakistan and China finalised a deal in April 2005, under which China Dockyard in Shanghai will build four F-22P frigates for the Pakistan Navy and transfer the technology as well. Cooperation on other ongoing defence projects is continuing to the satisfaction of both.
Pakistan-China economic relations appear to be evolving and getting stronger steadily. Bilateral trade is on the rise, investments are increasing, and the number of development projects and joint ventures between the two countries have increased at a steady pace over the past few years. Trade between the two countries has registeried a pattern of constant growth. Pakistan has witnessed a steady growth in Chinese investment. While Pakistan seeks Chinese investment, the Chinese government also encourages its public and private sector to actively take part in projects based in Pakistan. Pakistan’s intent to become a “corridor for trade and energy” for western China and Central Asia by linking Gwadar through upgraded Karakorum Highway with these areas entails promising prospects.
Economic cooperation has taken centre stage, while defence- and security-related cooperation has assumed new dimensions. People-to-people contact is increasing at all levels of the two civil societies. All these indicators point to the fact that Pakistan-China relations will remain on the track of constant growth in all areas of mutual benefit.
"When diplomacy ends, War begins." — Adolf Hitler
In South Asia, China regards India as the principal contradiction. As such, the need for countering the Indian influence is considered by Beijing more important than the desirability of achieving Chinese revolutionary objectives in Pakistan. This brings China and Pakistan on a common platform against India – leading to security concerns for India – both from China as well as from Pakistan.
Gwadar Port – China’s Pearl in Pakistani waters. The development of Gwadar Port in Pakistan by China is a matter of grave strategic concern for India. "Being only 180 nautical miles from the exit of the Straits of Hormuz, Gwadar, being built in Baluchistan coast, would enable Pakistan take control over the world energy jugular and interdiction of Indian tankers". The port facility at Gwadar is a win-win prospect for both China and Pakistan. The port at Karachi currently handles 90 percent of Pakistan’s sea-borne trade, but because of its proximity to India, it is extremely vulnerable to blockade. Gwadar is 450 miles west of Karachi. A modern port at Gwadar would enhance Pakistan’s strategic depth along its coastline with respect to India. For China, the strategic value of Gwadar is its 240-mile distance from the Strait of Hormuz. China is facilitating development of Gwadar and paving the way for future access. The Gwadar project has enhanced the strategic, diplomatic, and economic ties between Pakistan and China, creating a cause of concern for India – both from Pakistan as well as China.
Karakoram Highway and Development of Northern Areas. 1300 kilometers, stretching over some of the highest passes in the world, the Karakorum Highway firms in an enduring Sino-Pakistani alliance. It also installs China as a major player in South Asia, and provides Pakistan an ‘insurance policy’ against India. Also, Pakistan is building Bhasha Dam on River Indus, in the Gilgit – Baltistan region. This is the largest dam being built in Pakistan since 1976. The dam is being built in a territory that legally belongs to India and the population of the region, who are ‘de jure’ citizens of India, are being persecuted to facilitate its construction. The alliance between Pakistan and China seems to be growing at a rapid pace and the coalition in case of a conflict with either of them cannot be ruled out. Connect to it the Karakoram Highway and the construction of the Gwadar port. What one gets is a direct link of China to the sea through Pakistan, thus threatening the entire western border of our country. China can now send and receive supplies and military hardware including troops to and from Pakistan without restriction on as required basis.
Nuclear Technology and Weapon Technology transfer. Since the 1970s, China has been actively involved in Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs. China provided Pakistan with highly enriched uranium and education for nuclear engineers. Pakistan’s nuclear bomb is based on Chinese blueprints. In 1990 and 1992, China provided Pakistan with nuclear-capable M-11 missiles that have a range of 186 miles. An unstable government, army in control of strategic assets and possibility of nuclear material slipping out to terrorist hands, all combine to become a grave threat to India. With a nuclear weapon and the capability to deliver it, Pakistan has openly stated its policy of first use against India in case of a conflict. In order to be able to avoid a nuclear conflict in the region, India has been restricted in taking a large number of decisions against Pakistan. It appears that India is being held to ransom by Pakistan on the nuclear issue.
Large Monetary and Military aid by China to Pakistan. Since the 1990s, the top three recipients of Chinese arms exports have been Pakistan, Burma, and Bangladesh. 90% of Chinese arms exports target India’s neighbours in South Asia – especially Pakistan. China’s “string of pearls” strategy is designed to contain the Indian’s projection of power and Pakistan’s Gwadar port is one such pearl in the Indian Ocean. Pakistani officials have confirmed, saying that China’s future naval presence in South Asia will help to frustrate India’s control of regional waterways. China is the major financer of Pakistan’s military and development projects like Ballistic Missiles, JF-17 Thunder aircrafts etc. Pakistan is taking China’s help in developing economic projects in the field of trade, energy and infrastructure. Chinese companies are working for infrastructure development sectors like telecommunications, energy, mining, and IT in Pakistan. Chinese companies are also working on high-level projects like Dams, Solar energy projects and petroleum. With such a large Chinese presence in Pakistan, it appears that China has gone in for a policy similar to USA – to establish itself all around India in order to curb its rise to be a regional power.
India – Pakistan Trade. India has granted the Most Favoured Nation(MFN) status to Pakistan since 1995. However, Pakistan has decided not to grant the same status to India. Trade between India and Pakistan is presently being dictated by the “Positive List” between the two countries. This list contains 1075 items, most of which are chemicals, minerals and metal products. Finished products, however, do not form part of the list. India has provided significant subsidies to producers and consumers (mainly in agriculture) of Pakistan. However, only a few subsidies have been extended to India by Pakistan in return.
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into effect on 01 January 2006. The aim of the agreement is to reduce tariffs for intra-regional trade among the seven SAARC members. Pakistan and India are to complete implementation of the same by year 2012. However, the road to implementation is plagued by the overarching conflict between India and Pakistan. Pakistan has put a rider which states that trade with India would be subject to their import policy order as per the “Positive List” and would not abide by SAFTA. The Indian Government has conveyed to the SAARC Secretariat that the said rider is against the letter and spirit of the Agreement on SAFTA which has been ratified by all member states, including Pakistan, without any reservations.With Pakistan not keen on giving the MFN status to India and neither follow SAFTA for trade negotiations, the road ahead seems hazy as far as trade relations with India are concerned. On the contrary, Pakistan has been turning towards China for all their needs and China has been obliging them for almost everything. The trade nexus between Pakistan and China creates a link which bypasses India, hitting not only the trader of India who would lose on the exports, but also affects India strategically as China gets to establish better hold on Pakistan.
Support to Terrorism. Almost all movements within India, agitating against the centre have received support by way of finances, training, arms, guidance and shelter from Pakistani Intelligence Agency, ISI. Within Pakistan itself Islamist groups have been created or supported by ISI for sabotage, subversion and terrorism in India. ISI with its surrogate Wahabi groups is now targeting Indian Muslims to get them involved in questionable activities. The funds are available to Pakistan to support such activities because there is adequate financial aid to them from countries such as China, who for their own interests are happily contributing and donating to Pakistan. A country which does not need to worry about money for its own development can always spare it to be given to terrorist organisations to create chaos in India.
The more you seek security, the less of it you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire.
– Brian Tracy
Ethics, morality, right versus wrong- are issues that never had their place in the realm of international politics. America has time and again proven the statement- Right is with the Might! In such a scenario, it is time for India to restructure her political strategies and alliances.
Pakistan is a poor nation and has neither the capability nor the resources to possess nuclear weapons, arms and missiles. China is helping Pakistan acquire new missile technology and other defence equipments. Thus, China is indirectly helping Pakistan spread militancy in South Asia. The US needs to recognise this and stop bestowing China with the status of Most Favoured Nation. China has become a privileged sanctuary for U.S. dollars and technology to flow from the United States to China, and from China to Pakistan. Thus one way America can put a check on Islamic terrorism is by reversing its policies and halting all technology transfers to the China.
If India can convince USA to do this, India becomes a natural ally of America. It is high time for Indian politicians to recognise this fact. If India does not want to negotiate its territorial integrity, then the time is right to throw the policy of Non-Alignment out of the window!
To counter Pakistan, an assertive diplomacy based on gaining friends, and allies through mutual beneficial activity in the realm of geopolitics and geo-economics should form the basis of our foreign policy.
In a role reversal, India should dictate the agenda, create instabilit, and turn the heat on Pakistan. We must deliberately increase our military power with lethal offensive capability to unleash it and create terror in the minds of the enemy. The awe of a lean and mighty military machine itself is a deterrent which prevents the outbreak of a war. In a bold political move, Indian Armed Forces should be allowed to cross the Line of Control as and when necessary.
India needs to clearly spell out its long-term policy vis-a-vis Pakistan. While dealing with Pakistan, India needs to decide between the two options – to achieve peace and security in the region or gain political and strategic mileage domestically as well as internationally. Peace and security can be achieved by breaking down the terror infrastructure in Pakistan, while political and strategic mileage can be achieved by mobilising support against Pakistan as an untrustworthy ally? India’s policy should be to press on for peace and security in the region. In order to achieve the same, India must realise that her long-term interests in the South Asian region can be best fulfilled by a stable, democratic government in Pakistan and it needs to live in harmony with its neighbour.
The Indian Prime Minister has offered India’s open hearted cooperation to China, not only to build a better Asia, but also work together to contribute to a better world. The Prime Minister in his polite manner conveyed that there was enough space in Asia for India and China to live peacefully together, complement each other, and ensure peace and stability in the region.It now is China’s call to respond to India’s proposal. India needs to pursue this offer. The Indian Prime Minister has made this statement to the most influential academicians of China. This itself shows the importance given to his thoughts by China. A strong proposal like this should be followed up with action and perseverance to ensure China takes a positive call on the issue.
India needs to follow a two-pronged approach to counter Terrorism originating from Pakistani soil – engage with the civilian government at a political level and at the same time mobilise pressure on the Pakistan military to reduce its involvement in the terror being organised by them in India across the Line of Control.
It would be necessary for India to engage with the Pakistani civilian government in order to exploit the growing population within Pakistan which is in favour of stabilisation of relations between the two nations. Exploiting the option of conducting joint investigations which has been offered by Pakistan, could be one of the ways to stabilise relations. Once intelligence has been collected jointly, there would be remote chances that Pakistan would be able to deny that evidence. Hence, if Pakistan is clean and there is nothing to hide about a terrorist group, for e.g. Lashkar – e Tayyaba, it should not only take stern action against them, but also provide India, their custody for further disposal. This will go a long way in building trust among the two nations.
Simultaneously, India needs to muster greater international pressure on the Pakistan government and particularly its military, to discard its support to terror groups against India. Diplomatically, Indian should convince US to stop provision of military aid to Pakistan if it does not take action against terrorist groups. Unless a clear message is conveyed to Pakistan on the issue, they would continue to divert the assistance provided by USA, meant to be used in the war on terror, against India to support their terrorist groups. The implication of this would be that the US would need to look at alternative routes to Afghanistan, via Iran and Russia. In this situation, India can be of assistance as both these nations are traditionally allies of India .
Finally, India should take the lead in drafting a new security policy for the sub-continent. This policy should factor in the interests of the USA, but should not be guided by them. This would also help bring the South Asian countries together in the fight against terrorism.
While cheap Chinese products could initially take over Pakistani market, the craze disappeared once people realised that they were of low quality, with almost no guarantee by the company. This was true for both small items, like shoes, as well as bigger items, like locomotives. Pakistani businessmen preferred to sell western goods due to the better demand for them. Since Chinese brands were not as famous as the western ones, so the competition usually went against China.
On the other hand, due to the changed International Politics, China has become a major trading partner for India. Sino-Indian trade has improved and is expected to cross the $20 billion mark soon. This growing economic relationship has resulted in a shift in Chinese policy on some core issues towards Pakistan. At this stage, engaging China in a favourable dialogue would divert it’s support from Pakistan towards India. This should be pursued with vigour by our politicians and diplomats. An opportunity lost in this aspect is likely to get the relations back to square one. Also, offering trade to Pakistan at the rates of China, but with better quality, would tilt the trade in favour of India as far as India is concerned. The resultant would be – separation of Pakistan and China (on the issue of trade relationships) while getting India close to both the countries.
China realises that any confrontation between India and Pakistan is not in China’s interest and would put Beijing in the position of having to choose between the two countries and draw the United States further into the region. In this sense, peace between India and Pakistan is in China’s interest. In recent times, China’s views towards India have undergone drastic changes. China has shifted its stand on the Kashmir issue and instead of using phrases like “self-determination” and “UN Resolutions”, it now considers this as a bilateral issue to be solved through peaceful negotiations. On the issue of deterrent support, China switched positions during the Kargil conflict of 1999, and refused to help Pakistan. India needs now to pursue this change of stance to own advantage and exploit China by involving it politically, diplomatically as well as economically. To let China go away from India’s grip at this stage would be disastrous in coming years.
Looking at the problem in a different approach – Let Pakistan be one of your best friends. For that, we need to look at a number of actions on India’s part. Some of them are as listed in subsequent paragraphs.
Open up maximum trade between India and Pakistan. Thus by importing goods at much cheaper rates there would be release of pressure on the economies of both countries.
Open up the avenues for exchange of ideas and goods between the two countries by actions such as removing visa restriction between the two countries, minimising postal rates and travel expenses, giving MFN status by Pakistan to India for increasing mutual trade.
Increase people to people contact by opening more road, rail and air links between the two countries. Make the Line of Control a permeable line so that people can reach out to each other across the border to their own kin,
It is to be understood that in today’s international scenario, the affinity to a nation is not based on historic affiliations. It is bounded by the nation’s requirements for it’s own growth and freedom. Hence, if India is able to create a situation that she becomes a crucial partner for both Pakistan and China, the present situation of distrust between the nations is likely to give way to mutual cooperation and friendly relations.
It does not appear that China has economic objectives in Pakistan. Pakistan has neither an attractive market for China, nor it can serve as a source of significant raw materials. Chinese interests and objectives in Pakistan are mainly strategic and political.
Inspite of the above, Pakistan is very significant for China for several reasons. Pakistan is China’s strongest link to the Islamic world and China is not going to abandon Pakistan even if its relations with India improve. On the contrary, China-Pakistan military-strategic relations have improved in the wake of Indo-US nuclear deal. China’s promise to deliver Pakistan a nuclear reactor and develop the Gwadar Port, which has the facility to berth destroyers and other naval vessels, indicate such a trend. The opening of the bus service projects shows the desire of extending the cultural relationship as well. However, development in Sino-Pak economic relations is necessary to buttress developments in other areas of this bilateral relationship.
As it stands today, Pakistan – China relations are on the upswing due to various reasons cited above. However, these relations are upbeat due to the requirements of the respective countries. Though both countries are at loggerheads with India on a number of issues, they themselves have numerous internal problems to resolve before they can think of cornering India. The same is true for India too. Hence, at this stage, any hand of friendship, will invariably not be turned down by either country. There would however, remain certain issues like Kashmir for Pakistan and Dalai Lama for China, on which the countries would never reach a common conclusion. But we need to move ahead of these irritants and look at better opportunities with each other. As Dr Manmohan Singh, Indian Prime Minister had said in China “There is enough room for growth of both countries in Asia”. Growing Economies helping each other to grow are likely to be better off in today’s world order which is being directed by the only super power – USA.
1950 – Pakistan becomes third non-communist country, and first Muslim one, to recognize China.
1951 – Beijing and Karachi establish diplomatic relations.
1962 – The Sino-Indian War erupts, providing new opportunities for Pakistan’s relations with China.
1963 – China and Pakistan reach first formal trade agreement.
1963 – China and Pakistan reach border agreement.
1965 – China supports Pakistan diplomatically in war with India, as it does again in 1971 against Bangladesh.
1965 – In response to war with India, U.S. cuts military support to Pakistan. China soon becomes Pakistan’s principal arms supplier.
1970 – Pakistan helps U.S. make contacts with China that result in visit to China by then U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1971.
1978 – Karakoram Highway linking mountainous Northern Pakistan with Western China officially opens.
1980s – China and U.S. supply help through Pakistan to Afghan guerrillas fighting Soviet occupation forces.
1986 – China and Pakistan reach comprehensive nuclear cooperation agreement.
1996 – Chinese President Jiang Zemin pays state visit to Pakistan.
1999 – A 300-megawatt nuclear power plant, built with Chinese help in Punjab province, is completed. China is helping to build a second 300-megawatt nuclear plant due to be finished by 2010.
2002 – Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bangguo attends ground-breaking ceremony for Pakistan’s Gwadar deep-sea port. China provides $198 million for $248 million joint project.
2003 – Pakistan and China signed a $110 million contract for the construction of a housing project on Multan Road in Lahore
2007 – Sino-Pakistani joint-ventured multirole fighter aircraft – JF-17 Thunder (FC-1 Fierce Dragon) is formally rolled out. 2008, Pakistan starts mass production of the aircraft.
2008 – China and Pakistan sign an FTA (free trade agreement).
– China vows to help Pakistan in civil nuclear technology by building and helping in the Khusab Nuclear Programme providing technology to Pakistan for better maintenance of civil nuclear plants.
– Pakistan and China to build first ever train route through the Karakoram Highway, ultimately linking China’s rail route-net to Gwadar Port.
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 The Karakoram Highway was built by the governments of Pakistan and China, and was completed in 1986, after 20 years of construction. The highway, connecting Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan to the ancient Silk Road, runs approximately 1,300km from Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang region of China, to Islamabad, located in the Chilas District of Pakistan. An extension of the highway meets the Grand Trunk Road at Hassanabdal, near Islamabad, Pakistan. Web page – https://wondersofpakistan.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/tg_pak6_karakoram-hwy_itine.jpg
 The first large-scale Asian-African or Afro-Asian Conference—also known as the Bandung Conference—was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, which took place on April 18-24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. The conference was organized by Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India and was coordinated by Ruslan Abdulgani, secretary general of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference’s stated aims were to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism by the United States, the Soviet Union, or any other imperialistic nation. The conference was an important step toward the crystallization of the Non-Aligned Movement.
 The Sino-Pakistan Agreement (also known as the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement) is a 1963 document between the governments of Pakistan and China establishing the border between those countries. It resulted in China ceding over 1,942square kilometers (749.8sqmi) to Pakistan and Pakistan recognising Chinese sovereignty over hundreds of square kilometers of land in Northern Kashmir and Ladakh. The agreement is controversial, not recognised as legal by India. Web Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Pakistan_Agreement
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 SAFTA. www.bilateralorg.com(April 2009). Web page-https://www.bilaterals.org/rubrique.php3? id_rubrique=85
 Ramesh,Jairam, Minister of State for Commerce, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 26 July 2006. Web Page – https://commerce.nic.in/PressRelease/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=12
 Anand K Verma “Security Threats Facing India”. Indian Defence Review, Volume 23.2 (January 2009).
 Indiainfo.com. Web Page – https://news.indiainfo.com/spotlight/jammuandkashmir/allies.html
 Verma, Bharat. “Pakistan: The Counter-Strategy”. Indian Defence Review, Vol 14.2 Apr-Jun 1999. Web page – https://www.indiandefencereview.com/2009/12/pakistan-the-counter-strategy-2.html
 Srivastava, Devyani. “Policy Options on Pakistan: What India should do”. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Article # 2783, 19 January 2009. Web Page – https://ipcs.org/article/indo-pak/policy-options-on-pakistan-what-india-should-do-2783.html
 Dr. Manmohan Singh, Indian Prime Minister, in his address to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on 13-15 Jan 2008. The CASS is the premier think tank of the Chinese government and the communist party. It’s president holds the rank of a politburo member. All scholars at the CASS are security cleared and the senior scholars have access to classified briefings and information. The institution is a bridge between the inner political circle including the foreign ministry and the outside world.Usually visiting VVIPs address the Beijing University or the Qinghua University.Thus, Dr. Singh being called to address the CASS is not something routine. Web Page – https://www.southasiaanlysis.org/papers26/paper2562.html
 Srivastava, Devyani. Loc. Cit.
 Kumar, Atul. “China-Pakistan Economic Relations”. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. IPCS Special Report 30 September 2006. Pp 8
 Ibid. Loc. Cit.
 Afridi, Jamal. “China-Pakistan Relations”. Council on Foreign Relations. www.cfr.org. Web page – https://www.cfr.org/publication/10070/chinapakistan_relations.html
 John W. Garver, “Sino Indian Rapprochement and Sino Pakistan Entente”, Political Science
Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 2 (Summer, 1996), pp. 323-47.
 Saddiqui. “Pakistan India Relations : The Way Ahead”. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Article # 139, 24 August 1998. Web Page – https://ipcs.org/article/indo-pak/pakistan-india-relations-the-way-ahead-139.html
 ibid.Loc. cit.
 Bhola. Op. cit. pp 54.
 Hayder Mili, “Xinjiang: An Emerging Narco-Islamist Corridor”, The Jamestown Foundation, 26
April 2005, Web page – https://www.jamestown.org/news_details.php?news_id=108
 Socyberty.com. Sino – Pak Relations.Op. cit.
“China Pakistan Bilateral Trade Statistics from 1993 – 2008”. Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Web Page – https://pk2.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/bilateralcooperation/labourlawhost/200905/20090506266956.html
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