By Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani
Pakistan-China entered the 65th year of mutual friendly relations on 21st May 2016, spanning over more than half a century. These relations have been growing ever since in terms of defence, economy and diplomacy, and, in short, all fields of life. China has now turned into a giant economic power, striding fast on the path to become a functional world power. A recently published book “Who Ruled the World” by a famous American scholar became ample testimony that after completion of Gwadar seaport, China will be able to expand its trade from the coast of Malacca to the Gulf of Eden; and the sea will turn into an economic highway for emerging powers which is now being used as personal lake by America.
An overview of world scenario, particularly in this region, reveals that America and NATO bypassing Russia are busy in extending their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. On the other hand, they have been preparing China against India. But now the scenario has changed. Now China has established ‘Bank for International Infrastructure and Development” further developing economies of the world. This Bank has dented the hold of IMF and World Bank as Australia and England being fed up with America’s Veto Power in the United Nations Organization in the affairs of IMF and World Bank, have joined this newly established bank China has developed a system to make independent and self-reliant the poor state of Africa; but the most recent and one of the wonders of the world is “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which is going to make Pakistan an empowered country of the region.
Given the diverse opinions, all agree that this giant leap will turn China into a superpower. Chinese President Xi JINPING visited Pakistan last year and announced a huge investment of 46 billion US dollars for CPEC. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan & Xinjiang Region of China declared as Friendly Region in 2008 through an MOU. Similarly, Xinjiang Region of China’s Capital city Urumqi & Peshawar, capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, Kashgar, China, and Abbottabad, Pakistan, were declared as sister cities. Malakand power project is a gift for People of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa whereas Silk Road in the name of CPEC is going to make this region a hub of trade and economic activities. Similarly manufacturing of JF Thunder in
Pakistan is a living example of faithful friendship. In spite of so many changes in Government in both countries, their relations and friendship have never seen any weaning. One vision is that after 35 years China & Pakistan will be celebrating centennial Jubilee of their friendship. China would have become a superpower of the world. All this will lend China in an enviable image in Islamic world. Let it be Middle East, Afghanistan, Kashmir or any other dispute. China has ever supported Pakistan. Despite all ebbs and flows during the last 65 years, Sino-Pak relations have never seen anything displeasing or disparaging.
In the light of forgoing argument, it would be high time now to venture on educational and cultural fronts. Chinese universities and training institutions should attract Pakistani students. Chinese universities should be established in cities of Pakistan. Similarly, Chinese cultural and language centres should be established in Pakistan. These steps will find maximum acceptance level as Chinese products from tyres to machines have made their way to every home in Pakistan.
On 11th May 2016, China railed a goods train to Nepal which is a message to the entire world that China is linking the whole region of South Asia and it is going to supersede even European Union. It is also a message to India that it should abandon the policy of conflict and confrontation and explore the potential for well being of its public.
Malaysia is also negotiating its oceanic matters with China which would be a milestone for development of Malaysia.
Another encouraging aspect in China-Pakistan relations is appearing in the shape of China Study Centres in the University of Peshawar and other universities of the country. China has announced to give eight modern submarines to Pakistan which is the biggest defence deal ever made by any country with Pakistan.
More than 150 companies are working in different developmental projects in Pakistan. Gwadar port was handed over to China in 2013. And within one year China made it fully functional and operational.
More than 90 billion US Dollar agreements were inked during the visit of Chinese President last year, giving new heights to these relations.
*The Writer is Secretary-General Pakistan-China Friendship Association Khyber Chapter & President Radio China Listener’s Club Peshawar.