Withstanding the test of time and the changing regional and global scenario, the Pak-China relations have strengthened over time. China's will to start a new chapter in the age of globalization and its Belt and Road Initiative, the guiding tool towards the goal of a shared future, will play a key role in promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond while improving connectivity. Besides strong political, military and strategic ties, the two countries also have strong economic links. The global and regional realities affect the efforts of mutual cooperation, however, the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic partnership remained unaffected by the vicissitudes of regional and international developments. The COVID-19 pandemic is a recent example of mutually beneficial cooperation where the two countries derived strength from each other. The hallmark of our continued deepening cooperation i.e., China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered a new phase which will help Pakistan to achieve greater development. Pakistan and China both support multilateralism and the profusion of projects under the CPEC would help the two countries to achieve these shared values and goals. CPEC is but one facet in the net effect of the Pak-China cooperation. However, to enjoy the fruits of prosperity from this economic cooperation it is imperative that regional peace is not jeopardized.
That is one of the reasons why both Pakistan and China stand by the collective vision of security. Talking about the defence collaboration, China has provided Pakistan essential assistance to upgrade its conventional and strategic defence options. Pakistan is set to acquire Chinese origin third generation Main Battle Tank VT-4 – after the induction of indigenously built Al-Khalid-I Tank, a joint venture between Pakistan, China and Ukraine – which will be employed in offensive role by strike formations after induction. VT-4 is compatible with any modern tank in the world, integrating advanced armour protection, maneuverability, firepower capabilities and state-of-the-art technology. This has further strengthened Pakistan's overall defence capability to thwart enemy designs. It is a reaffirmation of Pakistan's position that Pakistan Army is fully prepared and capable to give a matching response to all types of threats to its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity for the defence of the country shall the need arise.
With such common interests and greater long-term significance in mind, Pakistan essentially views the deepening relationship with China as a constructive development and cooperative engagement, with an eye towards the long-term trends and strategic convergence. It strives for boosting economic growth that is pivotal for the country's financial stability and creating much needed jobs in a country of approximately 215 million people. Looking at these landmark developments that are for the regional prosperity versus weighing the geopolitical implications of India's behavior that inhibit cooperation such as its recent actions including military, not to mention the ignoble meddling and railing against CPEC, India's role is against the shared goal of regional peace and prosperity.
Pakistan-China relations are an example of friendly co-existence that promotes a peaceful and stable regional order. The countries envision a future of shared prosperity where regional cooperation and not competition is the way forward, a vision that is now more significant than ever before in these times, requiring even greater commitment, when we are seeing attempts to malign and reverse these gains. The developments in the Pak-China relations from security to strategic economic cooperative partnership can be seen as a straw in the wind as to what is to come in terms of peace and prosperity.
Long live Pakistan-China friendship!
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