Pakistan: Rethinking its relationship with China?

December 22, 2008

For Pakistan-watchers, I recommend reading this op-ed in the Daily Times calling on Pakistan to rethink its relationship with China, traditionally revered as an all-weather friend which will remain reliable even as other allies — like the United States — come and go.

“China has positioned itself for a leading role in global affairs, and will not sacrifice this advantage for the sake of any emotional connection with another state,” writes Shahzad Chaudhry. “As a mature society, the Chinese are realistic enough to realise the advantages and disadvantages of their linkages. Like the Chinese, Pakistanis need to discard their emotions and objectively review and redefine their linkages in view of their own national interests and the new global realities.”

I’ve been puzzling over China’s approach to Pakistan for a while, most recently in this post about China’s decision to support a United Nations Security Council ban on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Pakistani charity accused of being a front for the Laskhar-e-Taiba.  Since that followed a refusal by China to bail out Pakistan’s economy – forcing the government to turn to the IMF — I’d begun to wonder whether the “all weather” formula no longer applied.

So it’s interesting to read about the relationship from a Pakistani perspective.  China’s support, writes Chaudhry, had always come at a price, and was counted in numerous, mostly defence-related, projects. ”The large Chinese corporate presence in Pakistan enjoys a reverence beyond any in comparison. But it should not be forgotten that China has always acted on its own interests. Consider that the South Asian region is changing rapidly, with India not only emerging as the most prominent political and economic entity, but also huge market of great interest to China. In addition, China has to consider the American presence in Afghanistan and the Islamist militancy in Xinjiang,” he writes.

“Unfortunately, the reverence that has been bestowed to the Pak-China relationship has blinded most Pakistanis to the ever-changing realities of this relationship. China changed from a closed society to a progressively open one under Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s and has not looked back since, and has continued to define its relationship with the rest of the world according to its interests. Yet the Pakistani leadership has remained pegged to the historicity of the Pak-China relationship,” he adds.

“For China, in some assessments and in line with their current global leanings, we are but an unnecessary appendage, troublesome because of our image and the difficulties we pose in Xinjiang. Gone are the days when China depended on us as a window to the world; now the world is at China’s doorstep. We should thus devise our policies based on existing imperatives and not on emotional determinants.”

Those are harsh words for a country already under severe pressure from the United States and India over the role of Pakistan-based Islamist militants. But do they also offer an opportunity? Pakistan has often in the past been caught up in  other countries’ fights — during the Cold War, the United States used it to help defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan; then after India and China fought a border war in 1962, Pakistan became a player in a larger struggle between the two Asian giants. If, as Choudhry suggests, China is no longer willing to play that game, does it not give Pakistan an opportunity to take care of itself, rather than being dragged into other countries’ battles that by its own admission have often brought it more harm than good? 

Questions, obviously, for the optimists out there…

(File photo: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing)


India has learnet well the lesson of ‘repeat a lie oft enough, and it can blur the line between the truth and becomes the truth itself’.

By constantly and loudly painting Pakistan as a terrorist state because there are some terrorists hiding in Pakistans North West border areas with Afghanistan, it wants to take advantage and hopes to break the back of the Pakistani nation, but such unplanned, and open lying has its own disasterous course for India. Recently the UN gave Pakistan Kudos for implementing UN sanctions on Jamat us Dawa, then the head of Interpol publically declaredin India slapping India in the face that India was refusing to share evidence with Pakistan or the Interpol and that Pakistan was completely willing to cooperate with the Interpol.

India needs a cover to hide behind while it kills Kashmiris and destroys their dream and wish to be free of India and to join Pakistan, thats what this is all about.

Indian security forces have killed over 60,000 Kashmiri civilians, just go to Human Rights Watch to check out what they say about the so called worlds largest democracy and how they practice democracy in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan will not and must not give up its rightful claim over Kashmir and no amount of crying and howling like hyenas will help Indians in the long run.

Posted by Tariq Shah | Report as abusive

@umair , peace.
Read Alethia’s posts. She(/he?) is a frequent poster @huffington post too. She brings good name to Pakistan.
On the other hand, Idiots like you….

Posted by jinnah | Report as abusive

Pakistan and China friendship is one of the best friendship example to the world.

India has problems with everyone in Asia,

India always criticize china

Indian fought 3 wars with Pakistan

India always says Bangladesh is sending terrorists to us

India created Tamil Tigers force in Srilanka to attack sirlilankan forces

India is doing economic black mailing to Maldev

This is how India doing with neighbors and Pakistan is the only one always faces them one on one because we are not scared from there weaken military power and we proved in Kargil with minimum usage of our military.

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

China urges india to put evidences on the table, if any.
Pakistan is a peace loving nation, but the foreign involvement is creating disturbance in Pakistan.
source “The observent”.

Posted by Peace | Report as abusive

@Jinnah – you don’t even feel showing your identity becasue you belong to super liars.
AND don’t call us idiots we are not indian.

Posted by Peace | Report as abusive

Seems I am first Chinese to past here…..

I did a lot study about Chinese dipomacy recent years, at the same time…Chna government has changed it’s policy over time in past 10 years. But there is one thing which never change: True friendship with Pakistan! I think the friendship is people-to-people..even there is no political or economic benifit, I will still think Pakistanian is our best friend. If let me list the world friend of China, definitely Pak is No.1, I think Most chinese people share this point with me as we will never forgot friends who had ever helped us.

Nowadays the interest is top thing for China, as it is for other countries, we learnt this from US, China had tried it’s best to resolve historic issue with Japan, Korean and other Asian countries and get more and more respect and regional benifit, China also have settled down the border issue with Russia….I think the next step is to do it with India…I really hope one day China and India could sit down together to find a long-term sulotion to border issues…

But deeply there is no trust for Chinese to India..even one day there is no confront on border…it is still difficult to get Chinese to trust Indian..Vise versa.

Personally I hope Pak and Indian can build friendship even it seems impossible…but if one day, India threat Pak, China is always on Pak’s side, for any cost!

Posted by Jason W | Report as abusive

I saw a past said there was no muslins in China..I have to say it is not correct.

There were 9,816,802 muslims living in China according to census in 2002. Muslims migrated into China since Mongo Empire times

Posted by Jason W | Report as abusive

Let’s get back to business please?
If China is a best ally of Pakistan, then why didn’t china helped Pakistan in it’s economic crisis?
I think optimistically China knows Pakistan needs very well, it’s nothing by Pakistan’s lust for Missiles and Armors.
However it’s not a big deal for China to push all those obsolete technologies to Pakistan to protect itself from Xinjiang Uyghur separatist activities by helping Pakistan so that the Islam Terrorists would not get inside China’s Territory.
Pakistan, in other words understands this as a Friendship. Sorry guys, you have shown you sentimental weakness to Chinese and they are exploiting you.

Long live Sino-Pak relationship.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

I was happy reading a comment from our Chinese brother. And the truth is this….Pakistan and China’s relations go beyong GOvernment level…They are between people and have a trust that is lacking in every other relation with any country. I would definitely say that Chinese are our best friends. They have invested in pakistan so much and continue doing so, they know that Pakistan will support China as a regional power and not India… in the words of the great Mao tze tung, our frienship is deeper than the oceans and higher than the Himalayas…and this is the truth, no matter how much it gives sleepless nights to India, Israel and the US

Posted by Faroha | Report as abusive

Dear Indian,

First of all we don’t need any suggestions from you peoples, we know who is our friend and who in not.

You should work on your own country to stop more than 15 separatist move fighting for their rights & Indian government is losing control on some states.

In Asia no one believes in India because you peoples have double standard policy for everyone and you are not sincere with your own peoples.

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

The Chinese do not have access to this message board. THe chinese govt fears that some free thinking chinese may speak not so good about china. expose strength/weakness. The lone chinese friend is some one from outside china !?

Posted by Amar | Report as abusive

Chinese and in this blog? Great.

Can we trace an IP? lol

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

I can tell you that for free.
My ip address is 222.68.64.x/24

All chinese have access to those sites such as CCN,NYTIMES,BBC,etc..but normally do not access them for some reasons…first of all,Engilish is not our mother tougue, and secondly, we do not trust CNN._(


Posted by Jason W | Report as abusive

they may have access and they are dare not talk. Jason, watch your back. be careful!

Posted by Amar | Report as abusive



We also donot need the same from you


15 ??? Where from you got this No 15?? Do you only know to count upto 15? Why not 100 or 150 or 1000???

I know only 1- that is Kasmir sponsored by pakistan and ISI.

But i know Pakistan will be seperated in seperate states soon Sindh, Baluchistan and upper Kasmir (Pakistan occupied part).


We have not pleaded to anyone to believe us. We are not beggers and are not at all dependant like pakistanis who have to convince anybody and everybody around themselves with their lies and to beg their daily breads and everything.

Posted by debdina | Report as abusive

I am feeling sorry for the Indian media because of their lot of propaganda against Pakistan they didn’t prove anything and I enjoyed there funny videos and Ideas regarding to the attack.

Indian channels showed us the new way to convert serious incidents into cartoon movies and enjoy from them.

I will suggest Indian TV channel to convert them into cartoon channels other than news channels.

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

:P what else can a Pakistani do? Watch Indian channels and pastime, when no money join Jihad and path to heaven.

61 years isn’t too less to live? and like this?

The time you guys have spent watching India, and thinking to compete India on Military etc. would have invested in a good way, you wouldn’t have begged IMF to save your face from being black listed country (status – CCC).

BEWARE One IAF(Israel) is taking over One PAF (Palestine)
next will be another IAF takes over another PAF. The nuclear you are much proud off, looks like you would have sold it to North Korea for food and money.

“Have you hear a story of Shepard and Wolf”… convert this to Pakistan and nuclear.

Posted by The Indian | Report as abusive

My Indian Friend,

Don’t live on fool’s paradise (India) and come back to the reality, if you feel Pakistani Nuclear power is nothing then why your whole military along with govt is scared from Pakistan. Your reaction proves what we are capable for.

Regarding to your theory IAF & PAF :) hahahha
Again I will say one thing don’t live on fool’s paradise and if u feel Israel is your friend then best of luck for your dark future.

Yes we took loan from IMF and this needs to be return along with profit to IMF, they are not helping us they are helping themselves.

I know kids loves to read studies like you Indians and u see the world with TV, BOOK & u live on fool’s paradise.

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

To Amjad
Dont u pakistanis have any work other than watching indian movies, Indian channels and now Indian Blogs…
U say indian Channels are like cartoons.. well have u looked at ur channels ofcourse not. half the time they are off-air becuz some general has ordered them to go off-air or half time time they teach you how to make roti and biryani.

India is 7 times bigger than pakistan and also has Nuclear bombs hence we can destroy entire pakistan wheseas you can only hit a part of us and also we have missile defence system (which can hit ur missile as soon it takes of) Which u dont.

Only reason India is not attacking pakistan is bcuz India doesnt want pakistan to be another afganistan. you know wht happens when we take your army and democratic goverment out??? Pakistan gets into the hands of these Saudi-Sudani Mullahs which is indeed not good for any country.

Pakistan is on verge of Break up (financially, Politically and socially) so instead of wasting your time on replying to our posts go do something about it and put some brains in your people……

Posted by Imran Rehman | Report as abusive

To Imran,
My friend yes we love to see everything belongs to Indian because your movies show us those hot girls not satisfied by Indian mans, Indian channels because it looks like cartoon movies with Hindi dubbing, now Indian blogs because of idiots like you.

Yes India is 7 times bigger but Indian peoples are 7 times weaker then Pakistanis and we believe you Indian love to talk only but in real one rat can kill 10 Indians with one bite.

Please don’t explain your reason why u don’t attack us, do it and prove it. You are scared from our reaction because you know you have lost +500 Indian tanks on 1965 war by Pakistani soldiers and this is the world record of destroying tanks in any war and that time we were not nuclear power.

You are not capable to fight with freedom fighters movements in India from Asam,Punjab and others and you are thinking to fight with Pakistan, I know dreams are better for health but don’t see this dream because this will destroy you.

You know the big problem for your Hindu government is a Pakistan and you also know that you are not able to fight with us in real, go and watch some sunny devil films where you can defeat us and have good dreams.

By the way new Indian actresses are better than the older because they show off there ……

Please read your last post because there is one clue where you proved that you are Hindu, writing a Muslim name will not give you feeling like Muslim.

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

In my opinion, the reason chinese gov changes attitude is the change of the Paki gov. Now the new Paki gov is more friendly to USA and Brits. But the fundation of the Sino-Paki relationship is unbreakable — thats both of us don like Indians (lol) and the military tie is still strong.

Posted by ChinaV | Report as abusive

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