China or U.S :Redefining Pakistan Strategic Alliance

November 21, 2010

Nov. 15 (China Military Analysis cited from pakobserver.net and written by Raja Muhammad Khan) –pakistan and China will celebrate 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship in 2011. Both countries have shown their deep desire to further cement this historical relationship. As per the Chinese Ambassador to pakistan, “Taking into account our special relations and our strategic partnership, China is ready to work with pakistan to take the opportunity of the 60th anniversary to further expand friendly cooperation and bring the bilateral relations to new heights.”

Chinese Prime Ministare Mr. Wen Jiabao is scheduled to visit pakistan in December this year. President Asif Ali Zardari is currently on a state’s visit to China. Indeed, he has made it a routine to visit this time-tested friend more frequently than any other country. This time President Zardari was especially invited by Chinese Government to attend the inaugural session of the 16th Asian Games. President Zardari thanked the Chinese Government for the hospitality and congratulated them for the successful conduct of the event of the Asian Game.

While tracing the history, Pak-China relationship is indeed a friendship “higher than the mountains and deeper than oceans.” The history of this relationship can be traced from pakistan’s recognition of the People’ Republic of China soon after its establishment in 1949. After formal establishment of diplomatic relationship between both countries in early 1950s, this relationship continuously expanded. The uniqueness of the relationship between two countries can be imagined from the fact that, irrespective of the form of government in pakistan, there has been no change in this traditional firmness of the relationship. China has been the greatest supporter of pakistan’s viewpoint on Kashmir and pakistan supported Chinese position on Tibet, taiwan, and Xinjiang.

At political, diplomatic, military, and economic fronts, there always has been a close cooperation between pakistan and China. According to Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Liu Jian, “Our military and civil relations have reached new height, meeting the common aspirations of two peoples.” At the global forums, both countries always supported each other’s point of view. China has undertaken a lot development projects in pakistan. Both countries have a free trade agreement between them. pakistan indeed has acted as a bridge between China and the Muslim countries of the West Asia (Middle East), where lies the future economic interests of this rising global power. In 1970s, pakistan acted as viaduct in the establishment of relationship between US and China too. This was indeed the first opening of the China to the Western world and U.S and the Western block got closer to China against the Communist Russia.

The significance of the Pak-China relationship can be imagined from the fact that since its establishment, there have never been cracks or even wind of mistrust between them. This indissoluble nature of the relationship has never been with other friendly countries of pakistan. Once we compare Pak-U.S relationship, there appear many fissures in them in about the same time span as of the China. pakistan alliance with U.S lead Western Camp has been a tragic history of upheavals. Throughout this alliance of over half a century, pakistan has served the U.S and Western aims and objectives. Owing to this unholy alliance, it worsened its relationship with Communist Camp under former Soviet Union and had to pay heavy price in the form of its disintegration in 1971. Many a time the former super power (Soviet Union) has threatened pakistan of dire consequences for helping and promoting the US cause in south and Southwest Asia. On the contrary, U.S never came to rescue pakistan once there was a question of its safety, security, and survival. It never helped pakistan during Indian aggression in 1965 and 1971. U.S rather stopped the arms supply to its ally at these critical junctures of pakistan’s history.

US made use of Pakistani geo-politics to disintegrate its rival Soviet Union in 1990. It is still benefitting from pakistan position as the frontline state in the so-called global war on terror. U.S and NATO forces have violated Pakistani territory many a times during these over nine years of this global war on terror.

Its Western allies and U.S have always targeted pakistan’s nuclear programme, contrary to their unflattering support to Indian nuclear programme. Many astute scholars and analysts visualizes that while in Afghanistan, US and NATO keep it a top priority to target the Pakistani nuclear programme in one way or the other. Many even view that the terrorists like TPP in the FATA and KPK province have the backing of the forces sitting in Afghanistan. There is a strong linkage between the occupation forces in Afghanistan and India. All are cooperating to harm Pakistani interests.

On the contrary, Pak-China relationship is a history of bilateralism, mutual trust, and respect. Both supported each other’s cause on regional and global issues. China has cooperated with pakistan in the establishment of nuclear plants for meeting its energy needs. There is cooperation in launching the joint defence ventures like JF-17 Thunder aircraft. The unmatched fighter aircraft would strengthen pakistan Air Force considerably besides giving both an opportunity to export them in the global defence markets in the days to come. In order to strengthen pakistan Navy, China is providing P-22 Frigates. This strategic arsenal would greatly enhance the fighting capability of Pak Navy, compared to its adversary. PLA and Pak Army are also cooperating in the field of latest training techniques, small arms development, and manufacturing of APCs and main battle tanks. On the economic side, China has been involved in a number of projects like the construction of Gwadar deep-sea port, Sandak project, development of communication network and construction of dams. Politically and diplomatically, Chinese unflattering support for Kashmir issue has been unparallel. It considers that Kashmir is a disputed state whose decision has to be made in the light of UN resolutions as per the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

Basing on over the half a century Pak-US and Pak-China relationship, we need to redefine our strategic alliance. United States, the contemporary super power is located thousands of miles from Pakistani soil, whereas the rising global power China has a geographical contiguity with pakistan. The former has always used pakistan for its own gains, whereas the later helped pakistan during the difficult periods of our history. US is now making long-term strategic alliance with our traditional adversary India, while we are fighting its wars. China on the other hand is desirous of having the smooth relationship between India and U.S provided their alliance is not against China or harming Pakistani interests. As a nation, this is a critical time for pakistan to decide its future strategic alliance for the long-term interests of the country, keeping in view the experiences.



  1. Easier said than done ….. !

    The Americans poured in tens of billions of dollars on Pakistan for decades, and they will not let their investments in Pakistan go waste so easily …. !

    The Pakistani Army long back sold Pakistan’s sovereignty, in exchange of the dollars and F-16s.
    The Americans are now asking for the pay back …. either in kind, or in cash, or through the pound of flesh … !

  2. china, is no one friend, it has its own intrest, once the xinjiang rises, and muslim from pakistn support it, as rhey already do, then u will see a change in attitude from chinese

    during kargill war, where was china?they did not even entertain nawaz, he had to go to USA

    china will not go against any country in pakistni intrest, it will use pakistan against india, and make them fight but will not involve itself,

    grow up kid

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