Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Pak-China Strategic and Economic Cooperation: Challenges & Opportunities for the Region
The phenomenon of continuous swing in the global political dynamics besides a shift in power among the major players of the world, the face of interstate relations keeps changing respectively. Given the fact, it is important that our understanding of the world should also evolve accordingly, and we are not stuck with a worldview that has no relevance to the evolving realities of a world in transition.
Global politics is always characterized with three tendencies; namely, cooperation, competition, and conflict. It is a continuous process where the state to state interactions through economic cooperation, regional conflict, intrastate wars, power struggle between two belligerents, alliance formation for countering common causes of security, pursuance of economic interests through bilateral, regional and multilateral relations are on the move and further complicated by the globalization of the world where every state at its best seeks the chances of maximizing its national interests through various available means.
In the globalized world the rapidly emerging economy of China, which has put the position of many states on a stake in a world where the competitive economies do not always guarantee benefits, but also bring up many challenges and conflicts between the developed and developing and between the rich and poor.
The recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan with a cooperation deal worth US$46 billion, focusing on a broad spectrum of cooperation addressing the core issues like energy, transport and infrastructural developments has a greater degree of impact on the lives of people on both sides.
The relationship of the two countries is not limited to the economic cooperation, but a time-tested relationship based on mutual trust, respect, regional cooperation, and assistance. Both leaders rightly proclaimed the Pak-China relations as a deep-rooted tree.
The relations of both countries have evolved from being strong strategic cooperation towards strategic partnership and bilateral commitment of cooperation in the fields of civil nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards by Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) and its firm commitments and efforts for en route into the global non-proliferation regime.
Pakistan is highly committed to the disarmament and non-proliferation efforts of the international community under the IAEA, which is expressed by its firmly unilateral cessation of nuclear testing and with highly sophisticated security mechanism for ensuring security and the safety of the country’s strategic assets.
The Pakistan-China security interests are also professed to be firmly unified and the strategic partnership between two countries has a mutual time-tested trust having a deep support of political, institutional and popular sustain within the masses of both sides. Despite the unfriendly relations of both countries with India, China encourages and appreciates Pakistan’s eagerness for peaceful resolution of all of the outstanding issues with the neighboring countries just for the sake of a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous region.
Apart from the bilateral cooperation, both countries have greater role in the peace-building and rehabilitation process of Afghanistan having realized the fact that peace and development in the region are mostly connected with the stability and peace in Afghanistan. The new Afghan regime under President Ghani is also desirous to use China’s increased role in bringing the Taliban to a negotiation tables for a peaceful political solution that could bring an end to the country’s long fought war against the Taliban.
Having said all this, China’s investment plans in Pakistan are envisioned by keeping in mind the overall regional infrastructural developments. Therefore, through the initiative of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which include building a new road network along with a railway line, an airport, dry ports, neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and India could also benefit from this corridor by linking their countries with this network. Moreover, these plans also include New Silk Road linking the region with Europe through Central Asia which will not only benefit Pakistan and China but intends broader goals of regional peace, progress and prosperity to the whole region.