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Old Thursday, December 14, 2006
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Lightbulb Pak-china Relations & Recent Developments

Year 2006 marks the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. The bi-lateral relationship between the two countries has endured as a relatively uninterrupted, trust-bound and “All weather relationship”. This friendship has survived numerous geo-strategic changes including improving Sino-Indian relations from 1989 onwards, the collapse of the Soviet Union, developments post 9/11 especially with Pakistan as a frontline state in the war against terror. Furthermore, with developments over Iran and North Korea, the Indo-US nuclear deal and Pakistan’s failure to reach a similar agreement with Washington, it becomes important to examine Pak-Chin@ relations, especially while new agreements are signed, and high level visits exchanged. Recent Visit of Chinese President Hou-Jin-Taou is another bright landmark in Pak-China relationship.

A SHORT HISTORY


Pakistan recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1950, following which the two nations established formal diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations were further emphasized at the Bandung Conference in 1955, where talks between the two heads of state played an important role in promoting understanding, and developing friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries. In 1961, Pakistan furthered relations when it voted for a bill concerning the restoration of China’s legitimate rights in the UN. China supported Pakistan in its two wars against India, in 1965 and 1971, with both military and economic assistance. The military alliance led further to the creation of a Joint Committee for Economy, Trade and Technology in 1982, and China soon began, in the late 1980s, discussing the possible sales of M11missiles and related technology to Pakistan.

In 1996, Chinese President H.E Jiang Zemin paid a state visit to Pakistan during which the two countries decided to establish a comprehensive friendship. Relations since then have continued on the same steady 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, while simultaneously positing that both parties would not conclude treaties of this nature with any 3rd party

Now I would like to throw some light on Recent Developments in Pak-China Relationship. For the time I just discuss Strategic relationship but later I would also highlight mutual relationship of Pak-China on economic and Energy grounds.

A. Nuclear Co-operation

During President Musharraf’s February 2006 visit, China signed an agreement, to “build co-operation in the peaceful application of nuclear power”, notwithstanding Pakistan’s past record and international suspicion of Pakistan’s nuclear intentions. Pakistan, however, asserts that, having recorded one of the highest levels of economic growth in Asia last year, it will need an eight fold increase in its power requirements.

B. Defense Co-operation

Pakistan’s relationship with China has been the anchor of its defense and foreign policy over the last 40 years. China has proven to be a reliable supplier of conventional military equipment for Pakistan, selling F-7 fighters, a version of the T- 96 main battle tank, and subsidizing the future construction of four frigates for the Pakistan navy. Further to President Musharraf’s visit, China committed to deliver the first small batch of JF-17 (Thunder) Aircrafts to Pakistan in 2007. These aircrafts completed their first test flight during the Pakistan Air Force Chief’s visit to China in May 2006. China and Pakistan also promised to expand military co-operation and defence production with regard to aircrafts, fighter bombers, tanks, and heavy artillery. During President Musharraf’s February 2006 visit, as well as the subsequent visit by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief to China in May, the probable sale of F- 10s was also discussed. It has been opined that this enhanced military cooperation could herald a shift in the centre of gravity from Europe to Asia, with China at the forefront followed by Pakistan.

On 23 May 2006 Pakistan clinched a $600 million defence deal with China, which includes the construction of four F-22P frigates for the Pakistani Navy, the upgrading of the Karachi dockyard and the transfer of technology for the indigenous production of a modern surface fleet. Under the deal, three frigates will be built in Shanghai and the fourth one at the Karachi dockyard. Admiral Tahir said the first frigate would be delivered to Pakistan in 2008 and the other three by 2013, along with transfer of technology.
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Old Friday, December 15, 2006
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Now I come up with Second Episode of Pak-China Relationship and Recent Developments On Socio-Economic Grounds.I start here with Label C.Since A and B part i discussed already.

C. Shanghai Co-operation Council
During Musharraf’s February 2006 visit, he expressed the hope that Pakistan’s status as an observer in the SCO would be promoted to a full membership, whereby it could strengthen and increase its economic tie-up with China. Moreover, Pakistan supporting China’s entry into SAARC is basically attempts to restructure the regional balance of power, which is of significance in the geopolitical context of South Asia.

D. Trade and Energy Co-operation
The trade volume between China and Pakistan increased by 39 per cent in 2005 to $4.26 billion. The balance of trade, however, remains overwhelmingly in China’s favor, whose exports amounted to $1.8 billion compared to Pakistan’s $575 million. In the first three months of 2006, bilateral trade was $1.018 billion, 42.3 percent more than the same period last year. Furthermore, since 2003, China has emerged as a major trading partner for Islamabad, accounting for nearly 11% of Islamabad’s imports.

Pakistan is not merely expanding its defence co-operation but also improving its economic cooperation with China and subsequently attempting to reposition itself as an important trade route in South Asia. During President Musharraf’s visit to China, both countries signed an agreement to promote bilateral trade and co-operation, and a general loan agreement regarding the use of ‘preferential buyer’s credit’. It was strongly emphasised that China must encourage foreign direct investment I Pakistan and perhaps consider it as the manufacturing centre of the region, shifting some production capability to Pakistan through the encouragement of joint ventures between the two countries. It was further postulated that China would invest $12 billion in projects in Pakistan, as well as another $500 million in a joint venture company. President Musharraf also promised to set up various industrial zones in Pakistan solely for Chinese entrepreneurs. From 2006 onwards, the two countries will implement the first part of the free trade agreement. As tariffs drop to zero, the zone could emerge as a possible commercial hub of the region.

The emphasis on making Pakistan an Energy and Trade corridor for the region was further consolidated at a high level meeting in April 2006, where both countries agreed to step up co-operation in the energy sector, promising to give China access to the gas and oil resources of Central and Western Asia. A memorandum was signed on building this energy corridor, and it was suggested that China build direct pipelines to Karachi or Gwadar, where this would then be the shortest route for ensuring a stable and fast supply of oil to China. “We particularly look forward to materializing cooperation in the energy sector where establishment of oil refineries, oil storage facilities and gas pipelines stand out,” said President Musharraf. He continued, “When the Karakoram Highway was built, the world called it the eighth wonder, we can create the ninth and tenth wonders by establishing energy pipelines and railway linkages between the two fast growing economies.


E. Gwadar Port & Karakoram Highway
Construction of the port began in March 2002 after the Chinese agreed to provide $198 million of the $248 million required for Phase I of the project.26 China has also invested in support infrastructure by financing a highway link from Gwadar to a central Balochistan town, connecting Karachi and Quetta. It is relevant to note that China was initially reluctant to help with the construction of the port, though finally agreed to fund it provided that it had “sovereign guarantees to the port facilities.” Pakistan agreed to this condition, resulting in a disgruntled United States. Just 250 miles from the straits of Hormuz, through which nearly 40 per cent of the world’s oil supplies flow, the port is strategically located to serve as a key shipping point in the region. It is of great strategic value as it augments Pakistan’s importance in the region, while allowing China to diversify and secure its crude oil import routes and simultaneously gain access to the Persian Gulf. Through the construction of the Gwadar port, Beijing also will gain considerable influence in the region, giving it a strategic entrance to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

In addition, the port and the other supporting infrastructure will help integrate Pakistan into the Chinese economy by out sourcing low tech, basic production and manufacturing jobs, making it into a giant factory floor for China. Having invested $400 million in the project, the port will be accessible for Chinese imports and exports through overland links that stretch across the Karakoram Highway.

It’s just a glimpse of strong relationship between China and Pakistan, always proved their worth on time. As H.E Mr. President of China well said our Relationship with china is higher than Kurahkarram and sweater than honey. In the End I would like to say “Pak Cheen doosti zinda baad”:-)

Note: I made this thread in parts to concentrate readibility aspect of the topic.And also for future enhancements in our Strong relationship with Chin@.
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