By Wajih Ullah*
In Pakistan, it’s a precedent, when a new prime minister took an oath, his primarily official visit would be China. Pakistan foreign policy revolves around China, because of diplomatic, military and strategic interest. After celebrating 70 years of, all time tested friendship, both countries decides to take this mutual interest into strategic interest. For that, Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2015, visited Pakistan signed an agreements worth of 46 billion dollar, now exceed 64 billion dollar, under the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). China- Pakistan Economic Corridor is a reflection of iron friendship of both countries, a new alignment to connect the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.
Pakistan and China enjoyed cordial relations right after the establishment of China.
And arrangements between both countries is need of hour to secure the regional economic and security interest. China in a row to become an economic power. Premier of the state council of China’s visit Pakistan, invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Beijing to further strength the economic and strategic partnership. A joint communique after long series of meetings, entitle as, “Strengthening China- Pakistan All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” broadly cover all domains and dimensions of relations between both states.
In a diplomatic circle this visit called “Successful” as both countries enhance the cooperation in order to get win-win situation. Prime Minister Imran Khan met President Xi Jinping, Vice President Wang Qishan, Premier Li Keqiang, Chairman Standing Committee NPC, Li Zhanshu, Senior Ministers, State Councilors, Senior Officials from Government and Corporate Sector. He delivered a lecture in the Party Central School, a basic training school, producing officers and leaders for the Government of China. In addition to that almost 15 MOUS /Agreements were signed in various fields of cooperation between two nations.
The recent visit of China is more important for Pakistan perspective, due to the economic situation, trade imbalance, unbalance of payments and huge current account deficits. The purpose of visit to review the Free Trade Agreement with China to facilities Pakistani investor. China helped Pakistan in economic sector to boost its reserves and make sure certainty in economy because its affects CPEC projects. According to the joint statement “new era of principles set by the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-neighborly Relations between the People’s Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed in 2005”.
The core points include in joint statements:
- Political Relations and Strategic Communications
- China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC)
- Trade, Investment and Financial Cooperation
- Marine, Science and Technology, Space, Environmental and Agricultural Cooperation
- Social Sector Cooperation
- People to People and Cultural Linkages
- Defense, Security and Counter Terrorism Cooperation
- International and Regional Issues
In addition, the well explained and comprehensive joint statement reflects both sides commitment to pursue not only bilateral relations, but to overlook all regional issues, regarding security, defense and Peace process in Afghanistan. In a security domain both sides “expressed determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats”. Enhancing cooperation to all sectors, especially “Socio economic development, Job creation, and livelihoods and accelerating cooperation in industrial parks, developments and agricultural”.
Meanwhile, a lot of development took place in regional politics. China and Pakistan reaffirm to enhance cooperation against three evils separatism, terrorism and extremism. Afghan peace process also discuss to maintain a peace and stability in region by collectives effort using forum of Afghanistan- Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). Middle Eastern issues, enhance cooperation between SAARC countries, combine effort work of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Well, both countries enjoyed friendly relations, but after signing “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” this partnership shifted into strategic interest. China increasing involvement into regional politics, balancing the regional hegemony among all state holders. India, China, Pakistan and Iran major countries in this region with higher interest in this region.
*Wajih Ullah student of Politics and International Relations in International Islamic University, Islamabad