Jinghui Yang & Lu Peng
A prosperous and stable Pakistan is a prerequisite for maintaining high-quality development, and the cooperation between China and Pakistan. In recent months, the domestic situation in Pakistan has been turbulent and unstable, and China has expressed keen concern about it and hopes that the domestic political situation in Pakistan will be restored to stability at an early date.
China has always adhered to non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs and hopes that all forces in Pakistan will change leadership democratically and peacefully. China-Pakistan friendship will not change because of the change of domestic leaders in Pakistan.
China has always insisted on deepening exchanges and cooperation with Pakistan, a good neighbor, friend, partner, and brother of China. China-Pakistan relations are essential to China’s neighboring foreign policy of “being good neighbors and partners.”
China will continue to view China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and is willing to make joint efforts with Pakistan to push the China-Pakistan strategic partnership to a new level.
Building China-Pakistan friendship is not only the common interest of the two peoples but also the common expectation of the two peoples and the key to promoting high-quality cooperation and development between the two sides.
To build China-Pakistan friendship, we need to promote further exchanges and cooperation between China and Pakistan and continue to strengthen cooperation in diplomacy, economy, culture, education, and the Belt and Road Initiative.
Since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan on May 21, 1951, the development of good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence has progressed smoothly.
Since the 21st century, the China-Pakistan comprehensive cooperative partnership has developed further, with frequent high-level contact between the two sides and increasing political mutual trust.
China has always adhered to and safeguarded Pakistan’s sovereignty and continuously strengthened its diplomatic partnership with Pakistan through equal dialogue. In the future, China will also continue to strengthen dialogue and exchanges and build a robust strategic partnership between China and Pakistan.
In 2019, China and Pakistan signed the Protocol on Amending China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, and the economic and trade exchanges between the two sides continued to deepen.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, both China and Pakistan have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic to varying degrees, and their economic development has also been affected to some extent.
Faced with the common challenges, China and Pakistan must strengthen their economic and trade exchanges, jointly resist the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, and promote the sustained, sound, and stable development of their economies.
In 2013, the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor started, which is a landmark project for both sides to build the “the belt and road initiative.”
The two countries have established a “1+4” cooperation layout with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the center, focusing on Gwadar Port, energy, transportation infrastructure, and industrial cooperation.
Since the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, it has continuously promoted the sustainable development of Pakistan’s economy. In the next step, China should further increase its economic cooperation with Pakistan and work together to promote the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan 71 years ago, the cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation between the two countries have various forms and frequent highlights.
Under the China-Pakistan Cultural Cooperation Agreement framework, the two sides have signed 14 annual implementation plans, which guarantee the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in literature, cultural relics, art, news, youth, education, sports, and so on.
In the next step, the two sides should build a “China-Pakistan Cultural Corridor” based on the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” and continue to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.
China should continue to increase the introduction of international students from Pakistan. China should help Pakistan train more high-level talents with advanced knowledge and culture and help Pakistan’s construction and development.
At the same time, China should continue to increase educational assistance projects to Pakistan, help Pakistan improve its primary education construction, improve its education level, and further increase educational exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan over 70 years, the friendship between the two peoples and the two governments has been profound.
The two countries’ fundamental interest is to strengthen further the sustained and sound development of the China-Pakistan friendship.It is also the key to promoting the sustainable development of the two countries economies.
Based on “the belt and road initiative” cooperation, China and Pakistan should further promote their all-weather strategic partnership, constantly forge a friendship, strengthen exchanges and dialogues, and promote the overall cooperative development of both sides in various fields.
* Jinghui Yang, Scholar, Yunnan University, China, and Lu Peng, Professor at the School of Humanities, Honghe University, China.
*The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily represent those of the institutions.