May 21 marks the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. Both the countries enjoy close and friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 21 May 1951. Pakistan was one of the first countries that recognized the People’s Republic of China. Similarly China always firmly supported Pakistan's efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to fight terrorism.
China-Pakistan friendship, which is unique and extraordinary in the world, has never been subject to time and circumstances. Over the past 71 years, the development of China-Pak relations in all fields, be it political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, defense has further enhanced the traditional strong friendship. The two countries are not only strong supporters of each other on global and regional platforms but also seek strong economic and social development of each other. The two countries have always adhered to the principle of mutual consultation in fraternal relations, adhering to the principle of joint development and giving priority to the principle of common interest.
Over the years, the relationship has blossomed into an All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership. Pakistan considers China as one of its closest friend and partner and China considers Pakistan as its Iron Brother. There have been many trials in this journey of friendship but higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the sea and sweeter than honey, this unparalleled friendship has stood the test of time and continued to thrive from generation to generation.
Both the countries have shown to the world that they are good neighbors, close friends, trusted partners and true brothers. This relationship has built on the strength of its successive achievements, and has become formidable with each passing day and year. The leadership of both countries is committed to taking this relationship forward.
The bilateral relationship between the two neighboring countries is characterized by feelings of mutual trust, respect and goodwill towards each other. There is a regular exchange of visits at the highest level between the two countries. The strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China has grown over the past several decades.
Economically, China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner and a major investor, especially in infrastructure and energy sector. With the official launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the bilateral relationship has been elevated to a higher level. CPEC is a flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt & Road Initiative. It aims at enhancing connectivity and improving infrastructure between Pakistan and China. Several projects are being implemented under CPEC, for enhancement of infrastructure and generation of energy. People-to-people contacts are an important aspect of the bilateral relationship and several high profile events have been being organized frequently including seminars, exchange of visits and cultural events to highlight people-to-people interactions.
Both the countries have several Consultations mechanisms including Strategic Dialogue at Foreign Ministers’ level, Political Consultations at Foreign Secretary/Vice-Minister level, consultations on South Asia, Arms Control, Counter-terrorism, Human Rights, Peacekeeping, Maritime Dialogue, Border management consultations, and Consular affairs. Defense collaboration between two countries forms the backbone of the relationship. The cooperation spans high-level military exchanges, structured defense and security talks, joint exercises, training of personnel in each other’s institutions, joint defense production and defense trade. The militaries of the two countries have institutionalized three tiers of bilateral consultations to enable close cooperation at all levels. There is an extensive range of cooperation, including joint ventures, for the production of military equipment, aircraft, submarines and tanks. China is also the recipient of the largest number of military training officials from Pakistan.
With the passage of time, the roots of Sino-Pak friendship have become stronger and stronger in the hearts of the people from generation to generation. Today, after 71 years, both China and Pakistan are confident that this iron-brotherhood & friendship and fraternal relationship will continue to flourish and the two countries will continue to move towards development and prosperity together.