70 years on, China-Pakistan friendship set to prosper: National Security Advisor

By Waseem Bloch | Gwadar Pro Aug 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (Gwadar Pro) – For 70 years, China and Pakistan enjoy a truly unparallelled iron-brother friendship and an all-weather friendship. Now, a concerted effort has been made by our detractors and enemies, state or non-state, to try and undermine this relationship and the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by targeting the related infrastructure and people, but these plots will not undermine any part of this relationship. Bilateral relations continue to go from strength to strength and will only prosper.

This was expressed by Dr Moeed Yusuf, National Security Advisor of Pakistan, at the webinar themed “70 Years of Friendship: Navigating the Future” and organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) on August 24.

Echoing Dr Moeed, Amb (r) Inam ul Haq, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan said that unlike relations with other countries, Pakistan has been working with China on an equal footing. “Our relationship with China is based on respect and mutual benefits, and we have cooperated under the time-honoured principles of peaceful co-existence and non-interference.” He added, “The U.S. and the western world have never treated us as an equal partner despite our desire to maintain good relations with them.”

He mentioned that bilateral cooperation has been “multi-dimensional” as the two countries have cooperated at regional and international arenas in strategic, political, diplomatic, military and other areas.

In response to this, Prof Tao Yitao, Director of the China Centre for Special Economic Zone Research of Shenzhen explained that China and Pakistan are successful regional communities with a shared future. “The economy of China and Pakistan is interdependent and complementary. For example, CPEC is an ideal investment platform for China and it also helps improve infrastructure, upgrade the industrial system and boost foreign trade for Pakistan. The industrial chain of both countries has a ripple effect on each other. In other words, a stronger Chinese economy can mean more Chinese investments in neighbouring areas and a better Pakistani investment environment can attract more investments.”

Looking to the future cooperation between Pakistan and China, Amb (r) Inam ul Haq noted that more efforts can be directed at defense and CPEC. “China and Pakistan have been cooperating closely on defense and equipment, and the two sides can hold regular exercises to hone their interoperability, mutual understanding, trust and fighting capabilities. We can also conduct joint research to develop new weapons.” He noted that the Pakistani government should also address the concerns of Chinese investors related to CPEC.

Apart from consolidating the traditional areas of agricultural and economic cooperation, Dr Fazal ur Rahman, Director of Pakistan Institute of China Studies, University of Sargodha, said that the IT sector could be an area for future cooperation, as China has been a global leader in and exporter of high tech.

Amb (r) Inam ul Haq noted, there is also a great scope of cooperation in the tourism sector as Pakistan can learn established tourism development and management approaches from China and with better infrastructure and security status, the country can lure Chinese and other international tourism with its mountaineering resources.

“There is huge potential for future China-Pakistan cooperation. CPEC can be an economic powerhouse for Pakistan and bring social reforms and changes across Pakistan like China’s Shenzhen, but the prerequisites for this are security and receptive business environment for investors,” noted Prof Tao.

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