China-Pakistan strengthening strategic cooperation in new era

By Muhammad Asif Noor | Gwadar Pro Jul 3, 2023

Editor's Note: The writer is Founder, Friends of BRI Forum and Advisor to Pakistan Research Center, Hebei Normal University, China. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

The Law on Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China, which came into force on July 1, 2023, marks a significant milestone in China's commitment to promoting world peace and development. This comprehensive legislation underscores China's determination to build a community with a shared future for mankind and lays the groundwork for further strengthening the longstanding friendship and strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

The enforcement of this law holds immense significance for both countries, as it provides a solid legal framework to enhance bilateral relations, promote mutual interests, and foster regional stability.  This law offers a comprehensive future outlook on China-Pakistan relations, highlighting its potential to bolster cooperation in various fields and propel the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights.

The Law on Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China reinforces the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness as the foundation of China's foreign relations. In the context of China-Pakistan relations, these principles have long been at the core of their friendship. Both nations share a common vision of regional stability, development, and prosperity. The law reaffirms China's commitment to upholding the One China principle, recognizing Pakistan's unwavering support for China's core interests and territorial integrity. This mutual understanding and respect serve as the bedrock for deepening cooperation and fostering trust between the two countries.

The law also emphasizes the importance of multiple fronts, different levels, various areas, and multiple dimensions of foreign affairs. In the case of China-Pakistan relations, this translates into a comprehensive strategic partnership encompassing economic, political, security, and people-to-people exchanges. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has already brought substantial benefits to both nations, boosting infrastructure development, energy cooperation, and trade facilitation. With the law in force, it is expected that CPEC will receive renewed impetus, attracting more investment, promoting industrial cooperation, and accelerating regional connectivity.

The law highlights China's commitment to international security cooperation and its role in safeguarding global peace and stability. In the context of China-Pakistan relations, security cooperation has been a crucial element. The law's emphasis on upholding international regimes of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation aligns with Pakistan's responsible nuclear stewardship and commitment to regional stability. It provides a framework for enhanced cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism, intelligence sharing, and joint efforts to maintain regional peace.

The law recognizes the significance of people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation in fostering mutual understanding and friendship. In the case of China-Pakistan relations, these exchanges have played a vital role in deepening the bond between the two nations. The China-Pakistan Friendship Association, educational collaborations, cultural exchanges, and tourism initiatives have been instrumental in promoting cultural diplomacy and enhancing mutual trust. The law's focus on expanding exchanges in educational, science and technology, cultural, and sports fields will further strengthen these ties. It provides a framework for joint academic research, student and faculty exchanges, cultural festivals, and sports events, fostering greater mutual understanding and appreciation of each other's rich heritage.

China's commitment to advancing high-standard opening-up, as stated in the law, bodes well for the future of BRI. Pakistan, as a pivotal partner in BRI, stands to benefit from China's continued efforts to promote connectivity, trade, and investment. The law provides a legal framework to enhance the development of CPEC, facilitating the smooth flow of goods, services, and people. This will unlock Pakistan's geostrategic potential, create new economic opportunities, and uplift the living standards of its people.

The enforcement of the Law on Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China heralds a new chapter in China-Pakistan relations, underscoring the deep-rooted friendship, shared objectives, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. As China and Pakistan navigate the complex global landscape, the implementation of this law will play a pivotal role in elevating their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights, benefitting not only both countries but the entire region.

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