China hails Pakistan Military as 'mainstay' of bilateral ties

Contact Counsellor

China hails Pakistan Military as 'mainstay' of bilateral ties

  • China on Thursday described the Chinese military’s relationship with Pakistan’s armed forces as “serving as the mainstay of China-Pakistan friendship”, while Beijing called on all parties in Pakistan “to stay united” with the Imran Khan government in turmoil.

Chinese Stand

  • China is committed to a non-interference policy.
  • Pakistan is an all-weather strategic cooperative partner and friendly neighbour of Pakistan and China hopes all parties in Pakistan will stay united and uphold the major interest of development and stability.

Parallel relations

  • China has over the years maintained close parallel relations with both military and civilian leaderships in Pakistan.
  • The military-to-military ties have particularly underpinned the relationship and anchored relations even as civilian governments in Pakistan have come and gone.
  • Chinese officials have often referred to military ties with Pakistan as playing the role of a “stabiliser”.
  • The importance of Pakistan’s military to ties was underlined again last week when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi not only had talks in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, but travelled to Rawalpindi to meet Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Areas of cooperation

  • Nuclear cooperation
    • China has played a significant role in helping Pakistan develop its nuclear energy technology. In September 1986, they signed an agreement to facilitate the transfer of civil nuclear technology.
  • Economic dependence
    • Pakistan’s economic dependence on Beijing too has increased in recent years. China has been working on grand scale infrastructure projects in Pakistan and giving soft loans and lines-of-credit to its ally.
  • At UNSC
    • China had blocked the listing of Masood Azhar several times before yielding to US and European pressure in May 2019 when it lifted the block.
  • Closer defence ties
    • In 2020, China signed a defence pact with Pakistan. The Pakistan Army recently inducted its first batch of Chinese-made VT-4 battle tanks. Pakistan has procured Chinese-made combat drones or unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Implications of China-Pakistan Closeness For India

  • Two Front War: Convergence between the two countries raises the real spectre of a ‘two-front’ war.
  • Negotiation of Lost Territory: China now looks to negotiate to ‘recover’ Indian territories that it claims namely, Aksai Chin, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
  • China’s Rise to Global Power Status: China and Pakistan both share a common objective to prevent India’s rise.

India’s strategy

  • Improving Relations in South Asian Neighbourhood.
  • Improving Relations in Extended Neighbourhood i.e. West Asia.
  • Improving Relations With Russia given that Russia could play a key role in defusing the severity of a regional gang up against India.
  • Improving a political outreach to Kashmir aimed at pacifying the aggrieved citizens.
  • Improving Indo-Pacific Strategy involving the US, Australia, Japan and European partners is a key bulwark against the axis.

Exam track

Prelims takeaway

  • Location based questions

Mains track

Q. Enemy of an enemy is a friend. Discuss the statement in light of China-Pak Nexus.