Pak-China strategic dialogue & its regional importance | By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan


Pak-China strategic dialogue & its regional importance

MOST recently Pak-China Strategic Dialogue was held in China, which covered all aspects of security, safety, stability, survival and sustainability of socio-economic prosperity, greater connectivity through CPEC & BRI, Health Silk Route and last but not the least deteriorating law and order situation in Afghanistan.

It also vividly reflected both sides’ strong political commitment to fighting against all threats of terror in the region especially related to Afghanistan.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the 3rd round of China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and jointly met the press.

Pakistan and China had agreed to continue high-quality construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs during the third round of Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue.

Foreign Minister Wang pointed out that since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties 70 years ago, the two countries had worked together to overcome many obstacles and forged “an iron-clad friendship and an all-weather strategic partnership” of cooperation.

He further termed a high degree of mutual trust, mutual assistance, seeking peace and promoting development together as the most distinctive features of the bilateral relations and greatest strength in moving forward together. It showed strategic orientation of strategic friendship between Pakistan and China.

Both sides agreed that a high degree of mutual trust, mutual assistance, seeking peace and promoting development together are the most distinctive features of China-Pakistan relations, and the underlying rationale of our ironclad friendship.

They are important guidance for China-Pakistan relations and should be unswervingly upheld and advocated by us. Both sides sternly condemned the terrorist attacks targeting Chinese nationals in Pakistan.

Both sides agreed to build a strengthened version of counter-terrorism and security cooperation framework, upgrade and improve security measures for Chinese nationals, institutions and projects in Pakistan, to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

During the strategic dialogue both sides spoke highly of the outcomes of anti-COVID 19 cooperation.

China pledged to continue to satisfy the vaccine demand of Pakistan, and firmly support its defeat of the pandemic. Both sides reiterated the opposition to “vaccine nationalism”.

On its part, Pakistan supported China’s principled position on the origin-tracing, and firmly opposes the attempt of any country and any force to politicize the origin-tracing.

Despite regional media hue and cry and international propaganda both sides agreed to continue the high-quality construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), unleash the vitality of Gwadar Port and economic parks, expand livelihood cooperation, strengthen emerging industries, develop and extend the CPEC, promote regional connectivity, build health, industry, digital and green corridors, and benefit more countries and their peoples in this region.

Interestingly both sides agreed to further strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs, jointly oppose hegemonism and unilateralism, advocate true multilateralism, promote the common values of humanity, uphold the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law, advance the political settlement of hotspot issues, such as the Afghan issue and the Palestinian question, injecting more positive energy into world peace, stability and development.

Most recently, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and discussed matters of mutual interest.

Accordingly to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, bilateral cooperation in various fields and update on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were discussed during the meeting.

The Army Chief thanked envoy for “unwavering Chinese support” extended to Pakistan during testing times of pandemic.

On his part, Chinese Ambassador Nong appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan’s positive role in the region and pledged to play his role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation between both countries.

Definitely, chessboard of regional security is rapidly on the change due to which new castles of security and safety are being formed.

Queen of power politics (USA) and its foot-soldiers (India) in the region are trying their best to sabotage the peace efforts of Pakistan, China and Uzbekistan.

Due to severe power politics Afghanistan has again become flashpoint of regional security and unfortunately, soil for proxies.

Doves of peace are trying their best to fly high but recent airstrikes of the US has drastically changed the prospects of peace in the region especially in Afghanistan.

Even Russian President offered to use military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to US which is desperately searching safe-heavens in the shape of military bases in the region.

But airstrike from its Doha based military base in the territories of Afghanistan has diverted regional spillover repercussions of Afghanistan to the Middle East which has already fragile, divided and eye ball to eye ball with Iran.

China’s Foreign Minister has met a Taliban delegation, signalling warming ties as the United States-led foreign forces continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He also said he hoped the Taliban would crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as it was a “direct threat to China’s national security”, according to the readout, referring to a group China says is active in the Xinjiang region in China’s Far West.

Beijing has said it fears neighbouring Afghanistan could be used as a staging ground for separatists.

Beijing has viewed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as a boon, while close ties with a future government in Kabul could also pave the way for an expansion of its Belt and Road Initiative into Afghanistan and through the Central Asian Republics.

Despite Western propaganda China has throughout adhered to non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Chinese FM upheld that “Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people” and termed follies of the US as failure of US policy towards Afghanistan.

To counter the strategic moves and initiatives of China the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken officially visited India and warned that Afghanistan would become a “pariah state” if the Taliban takes control by force.

Being a prominent regional expert of China, CPEC & BRI, I really appreciate peace efforts of Chinese government in the region and especially Afghanistan.

Rise to violence and terrorist targeting against Chinese personnel has direct correlation with deteriorating law and order situation in Afghanistan.

Moreover, enemy of socio-economic prosperity, greater regional connectivity and ill-designers of peace and stability are trying to manage the Chinese holistic policies of regional peace by pursuing and reactivating 5th generation hybrid war against the vested interests of Pakistan and China.

—The writer is Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS.

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