Islamabad Paper “Understanding Pakistan-China Relations”

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Abstract

The establishment of diplomatic relations in 1951 between China and Pakistan provided the desired building blocks to lay the foundations of bilateral relations. The two neighbouring countries negotiated colonial complexities of border demarcation, resulted in the signing of the border agreement in March, 1962. The border agreement turned out to be an edifice on which the two countries built a relationship at both levels i.e. people to people and government to government. In fact, the bilateral relationship is more robust than before and this ‘special’ relationship has found a distinctive place in the foreign policies of neighbouring states. It is thus, no surprise that an insight at the region, reflects Pakistan and China, standing beside each other, especially during difficult and challenging periods. Pakistan’s crucial role as a ‘bridge’ for the United States (US) and China to acquaint with each other reflected the trust that China reposed in Pakistan to break the strangle hold of isolation. The neighbourhood in which Pakistan and China are situated is not without its challenges; both the countries dealing with India — a neighbour with which peace on the horizon seems far more distant than they would expect.

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