Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

Sino-Pak

Sino-Pakistani relations began in 1950 when Pakistan was among the first countries to break relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and recognize the People’s Republic of China. Following the Sino-Indian hostilities of 1962, Pakistan’s relations with the PRC became stronger; since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. The PRC has provided economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan. The alliance remains strong.

Favorable relations with China have been a pillar of Pakistan‘s foreign policy. China strongly supported Pakistan’s opposition to Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and was perceived by Pakistan as a regional counterweight to India.China and Pakistan also share a close military relation, with China supplying a range of modern armaments to the Pakistani defence forces. Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates. Chinese cooperation with Pakistan has reached high economic points with substantial investment from China in Pakistani infrastructural expansion, including the noted project in the Pakistani port in Gwadar.

Background

Pakistan has an enduring, multi-dimensional and deep-rooted relationship with China. The long-standing ties of friendship between the two countries are underpinned by mutual trust and confidence. A close identity of views and mutuality of interest remain the hallmark of bilateral ties. Pakistan has always supported China on all issues of importance to the latter, especially those related to the question of China’s sovereignty e.g. Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Tibet and other sensitive issues such as human rights. The Chinese leadership has always appreciated Pakistan’s steadfast support on issues of their concern. They are also generous in acknowledging the significant role of Pakistan in the early 70s, which enabled China to break its isolation from the West and the US.

Trans-Karakoram Tract

The Trans-Karakoram Tract is an area of nearly 5,800 km² that, India claims, was transferred by a border agreement from the Pakistani-administered Northern Areas to China in 1963 with the proviso that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan says that it was a no-man’s undemarcated border land, hence no question arises of its being transferred. The transfer is disputed by India which claims the Tract as part of Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir state.

The tract, called Shaksgam, is technically part of Shigar, a valley of Baltistan region of Ladakh Province. The Raja of Shigar controlled this land until 1971, when Pakistan abolished the Raja government system. A polo ground in Shaksgam was built by the Amacha Royal family of Shigar, and the Rajas of Shigar used to invite the Amirs of Yarkand to play polo there. All the names of the mountains, lakes, rivers and passes are in Balti/Ladakhi, suggesting that this land has been part of Baltistan/Ladakh province for a long time.

The Tract is one of the most inhospitable areas of the world, with some of the highest mountains including Broad Peak, Gasherbrum and Masherbrum, and is adjacent to the highest battlefield in the world at Siachen Glacier.

Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement

March 3, 1963: Below is the text of the SinoPak Border agreement 1963 through which Pakistan ceded 1/3rd of the territory of Pakistan administered Kashmir to China.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Pakistan; HAVING agreed, with a view to ensuring the prevailing peace and tranquility on their respective border, to formally delimit and demarcate the boundary between China’s Sinkiang and the contiguous areas the defence of which is under the actual control of Pakistan, in a spirit of fairness, reasonableness, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, and on the basis of the ten principles as enunciated in the Bandung conference. Being convinced that this would not only give full expression to the desire of the people of China and Pakistan for the development of good neighbourly and friendly relations, but also help safeguard Asian and world peace. Have resolved for this purpose to conclude the present agreement and have appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries the following. For the Government of the People’s Republic of China; Chen Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs. For the Government of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Minister of External Affairs.

Who, having mutually examined their full powers and found them to be in good and due form have agreed upon following:

Article 1 In view of the fact that the boundary between China’s Sinkiang and the contiguous areas the defence of which is under the actual control of Pakistan has never been formally delimited, two parties agree to delimit it on the basis of the traditional customary boundary line including features and in a spirit of equality, mutual benefit and friendly cooperation.

Article 2 In accordance with the principle expounded in Article 1 of the present agreement, the two parties have fixed as follows the alignment of the entire boundary line between China’s Sinkiang and the contiguous areas the defence of which is under the actual control of Pakistan.

1) Commencing from its north western extremity at height 5,630 metres (a peak the reference coordinates of which are approximately longitude 74 degrees 34 minutes east and latitude 37 degrees 3 minutes north), the boundary line runs generally eastward and then South-eastward strictly along the main watershed between the tributaries of the Tashkurgan river of the Tarim river system on the one hand on the tributes of the Hunza river of the Indus river system on the other hand, passing through the Kilik Daban (Dawan), the Mintake Daban (pass), the Kharchanai Daban (named on the Chinese map only), the Mutsgila Daban (named on the Chinese map only) and the Parpik Pass (named on the Pakistan map only) and reaches the Khunjerab (Yutr Daban (Pass).

2) After passing through the Kunjerab (Yutr) Daban (pass) the boundary line runs generally southward along the above-mentioned main watershed up to a mountain-top south of the Daban (pass), where it leaves the main watershed to follow the crest of a spur lying generally in a south-easterly direction, which is the watershed between the Akjilga river ( a nameless corresponding river on the Pakistan map) on the one hand, and the Taghumbash (Oprang) river and the Koliman Su (Orang Jilga) on the other hand. According to the map of the Chinese side, the boundary line, after leaving the south-eastern extremity of the spur, runs along a small section of the middle line of the bed of the Koliman Su to reach its confluence with the Elechin river. According to the map of the Pakistan side, the boundary line, after leaving the south-eastern extremity of this spur, reaches the sharp bend of the Shaksgam of Muztagh river.

Political division of Kashmir

3) From the aforesaid point, the boundary lines runs up the Kelechin river (Shaksgam or Muztagh river) along the middle line of its bed its confluence (reference coordinates approximately longitude 76 degrees 2 minutes east and latitude 36 degrees 26 minutes north) with the Shorbulak Daria (Shimshal river or Braldu river).

4) From the confluence of the aforesaid two rivers, the boundary line, according to the map of the Chinese side, ascends the crest of a spur and runs along it to join the Karakoram range main watershed at a mountain-top (reference coordinates approximately longitude 75 degrees 54 minutes east and latitude 36 degrees 15 minutes north) which on this map is shown as belonging to the Shorgulak mountain. According to the map of the Pakistan side, the boundary line from the confluence of the above mentioned two river ascends the crest of a corresponding spur and runs along it, passing through height 6.520 meters (21,390 feet) until it joins the Karakoram range main watershed at a peak (reference coordinates approximately longitude 75 degrees 57 minutes east and latitude 36 degrees 3 minutes north).

5) Thence, the boundary line, running generally south-ward and then eastward strictly follows the Karakoram range main watershed which separates the Tarim river drainage system from the Indus river drainage system, passing through the east Mustagh Pass (Muztagh pass), the top of the Chogri peak (K2) the top of the broad peak, the top of the Gasherbrum mountain (8,068), the Indirakoli pass (names of the Chinese maps only) and the top of the Teramn Kankri peak, and reaches its south-eastern extremity at the Karakoram Pass. Then alignment of the entire boundary line as described in section one of this article, has been drawn on the one million scale map of the Pakistan side in English which are signed and attached to the present agreement. In view of the fact that the maps of the two sides are not fully identical in their representation of topographical features the two parties have agreed that the actual features on the ground shall prevail, so far as the location and alignment of the boundary described in section one is concerned, and that they will be determined as far as possible by bgint survey on the ground.

Article 3 The two parties have agreed that: i) Wherever the boundary follows a river, the middle line of the river bed shall be the boundary line; and that ii) Wherever the boundary passes through a deban (pass) the water-parting line thereof shall be the boundary line.

Article 4 One the two parties have agreed to set up, as soon as possible, a joint boundary demarcation commission. Each side will appoint a chairman(Chaudry Mohammad Aslam for the Pakistani side), one or more members and a certain number of advisers and technical staff. The joint boundary demarcation commission is charged with the responsibility in accordance with the provisions of the present agreement, to hold concrete discussions on and carry out the following tasks jointly.

1) To conduct necessary surveys of the boundary area on the ground, as stated in Article 2 of the present agreement so as to set up boundary markers at places considered to be appropriate by the two parties and to delineate the boundary line of the jointly prepared accurate maps. To draft a protocol setting forth in detail the alignment of the entire boundary line and the location of all the boundary markers and prepare and get printed detailed maps, to be attached to the protocol, with the boundary line and the location of the boundary markers shown on them.

2) The aforesaid protocol, upon being signed by representatives of the governments of the two countries, shall become an annex to the present agreement, and the detailed maps shall replace the maps attached to the present agreement.

3) Upon the conclusion of the above-mentioned protocol, the tasks of the joint boundary demarcation commission shall be terminated.

Article 5 The two parties have agreed that any dispute concerning the boundary which may arise after the delimitation of boundary line actually existing between the two countries shall be settled peacefully by the two parties through friendly consultations.

Article 6 The two parties have agreed that after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the sovereign authority concerned will reopen negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the boundary as described in Article. Two of the present agreement, so as to sign a formal boundary treaty to replace the present agreement, provided that in the event of the sovereign authority being Pakistan, the provisions of the present agreement and of the aforesaid protocol shall be maintained in the formal boundary treaty to be signed between the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Article 7 The present agreement shall come into force on the data of its signature. Done in duplicate in Peking on the second day of March 1963, in the Chinese and English languages, both side being equally authentic.

Diplomatic relations

Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China were established on 21 May, 1951. The 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations this year is an occasion of great significance both in historic terms as well as for a strong public manifestation of the durability and the strength of Pak-China relations. A series of high level exchanges, hallmark of which is Premier Zhu Rongji‘s visit to Pakistan on 11-14 May, 2001 and President of Pakistan‘s visit to China later this year as part of the commemorative events for the golden jubilee celebrations. In addition, high profile cultural and business activities would be undertaken, including Pakistan’s participation in the Beijing International Trade Fair in April 2001, civil awards for Chinese nationals in recognition of their contribution to Pak-China friendship and cooperation in various fields issuance of first day covers/commemorative stamps to mark the occasion. To mark the 50th Anniversary of Pak-China Friendship, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of 3 commemorative postage stamps on May 12, 2001. As a part ofGolden Jubilee Celebrations, Pakistan and China, Pakistan Post Office will be issuing First Day of Issue covers with the stamps of the 2 respective countries duly pasted. Pakistan and China will further be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Pak-China friendship by releasing First Day of Issue Covers simultaneously at Beijing and Islamabad on May 21. Special ceremonies will be held in the respective capitals to mark the release of First Day of Issue Covers containing postage stamps of the respective countries on both the First Day Covers duly defaced with special postmarks of 21 May, 2001.

With the new government of President Zardari under intense pressure from the United States, there are calls from notable politicians and defense analysts for Pakistan to adopt a foreign policy which considers China and not the USA to be Pakistan’s strongest ally and most significant stakeholder. China’s emergence as the leading global economic power coupled with recent rumours of an Indo-Western policy that could promote a destabilisation followed by a potential disintegration of Pakistan has helped this suggestion gain further credibility. Washington has historically been accused of using Pakistan in time of need and then deserting it for a policy that favours stronger relations with India to take advantage of the large consumer market there. China, on the other hand has been a time-tested friend of Pakistan’s. The recent Mumbai attacks serve as an ideal example of this where the US joined hands with India in accusing Pakistan whereas China warned all other powers to restrain an invasion of Pakistan. It is in this respect that the focus in the coming years would be on the speed and scale of development at Gawadar port. Some circles in Pakistan believe that the process of this development should be expediated as a matter of urgency because it would deepen Chinese interest in Pakistan substantially.

Pakistan-China Military relations

The People’s Republic of China‘s relationship with Pakistan has often been regarded as all weather and time tested. This friendship for both the Asian countries holds great importance and is priceless in terms of common interest and geo-strategic alliance initially to counter the Indian and Soviet Union threat. In recent years the friendship has deepened even further and China has several defence treaties with Pakistan.

China has been a steady source of military equipment and has cooperated with Pakistan in setting up weapons production and modernization facilities.

The two countries are also actively involved in the joint venture of several projects to enhance each others’ military needs, including JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, K-8 Karakorum advance training aircraft, space technology, AWACS, Al-Khalid tank, missiles one being the cruise missile Babur and many other projects. The two countries also held several military exercises together to further deepen and enhance cooperation between the two armed forces. Also China is the largest investor in the Gwadar Deep Sea Port, which is strategically located at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz. China and Pakistan also have deeper ties in Science and Technology. China have supported Pakistan‘s NuclearProgram and helping Pakistan‘s to built more Nuclear Plants. China and Pakistan also sign an agreement of Civil Nuclear technology. China and Pakistan also cooperating is Space Technology, which is resulting as Pakistan’s sending satellites and being a part of Asia’s Space Race.

Cultural relations

The renowned Chinese painter Professor Yao Youduo and his famous paintings titled, Two Pakistani Women Drawing Water and Ma Gu’s Birthday Offering are notable as a sign of close relations between the two countries. The two paintings of the renowned Chinese national painter are reproduced in se tenant format. He is universally acknowledged as an artist of humanity and poetic beauty. Youduo is head of the second studio of Chinese Painting Department at Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing China and is a master of the Eastern tradition and he uses the brush with great skill to create line drawings, shading, perspective, texture color and a unified composition. The artist has a special feeling for Minority Peoples of China, and many of these women and Children are from the Dai nationality. There is one beautiful and powerful painting of two Pakistani Village Women drawing water from the stream. They are strikingly beautiful, strong, and confident. Yet shy and suspicious of being observed. The composition is Chinese but the feel is oriental. He is said to be a genius “could capture these emotions”. Professor Kayama Matazo of Tokyo University of Fine Arts has hailed Yao as the Contemporary master painter and a rising star of Chinese Painting.

Timeline

Prime Ministers of Pakistan and China inaugurating the project of Sukh Chayn Gardens

Chinese President Hu Jintao, making the first visit to Pakistan by a Chinese president in a decade, promised to bolster his country’s ties with its old ally to a new level. Following are some of the most important events in relations between the two neighbours.

1950Pakistan becomes third non-communist country, and first Muslim one, to recognize China.
1951Beijing and Karachi establish diplomatic relations.
1962 – The Sino-Indian War erupts, providing new opportunities for Pakistan‘s relations with China.
1963China and Pakistan reach first formal trade agreement.
1963China and Pakistan reach border agreement.
1965China supports Pakistan diplomatically in war with India, as it does again in 1971 against Bangladesh.
1965 – In response to war with India, U.S. cuts military support to Pakistan. China soon becomes Pakistan’s principal arms supplier.
1970 – Pakistan helps U.S. make contacts with China that result in visit to China by then U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1971.
1978Karakoram Highway linking mountainous Northern Pakistan with Western China officially opens.
1980s – China and U.S. supply help through Pakistan to Afghan guerrillas fighting Soviet occupational forces.
1986 – China and Pakistan reach comprehensive nuclear Co-operation Agreement.
1996 – Chinese President Jiang Zemin pays state visit to Pakistan.
1999 – A 300-megawatt nuclear power plant, built with Chinese help in Punjab province, is completed. China is helping to build a second 300-megawatt nuclear plant due to be finished by 2010.
2001 – A joint-ventured Chinese-Pakistani tank, the MBT-2000 (Al-Khalid) MBT, comes into full production.
2002 – Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bangguo attends ground-breaking ceremony for Pakistan’s Gwadar deep-sea port. China provides $198 million for $248 million joint project.
2003 – Pakistan and China signed a $110 million contract for the construction of a housing project on Multan Road in Lahore [1]
2007Sino-Pakistani joint-ventured multirole fighter aircraftJF-17 Thunder (FC-1 Fierce Dragon) is formally rolled out. 2008, Pakistan starts mass production of the aircraft.
2008 – China warns US of war against Pakistan, during which former President Pervez Musharaf visits China, Musharaf raised issues of US attacks inside Pakistan.
Pakistan’s foreign office (the first foreign issue to speak of Tibet) speaks for more than 3 times per month on the Tibet issue, calling for the world to stop opposing China and the Olympic games.
Pakistan welcomes China’s Olympic torch warmly. Pakistan became the first country not to protest against Tibet when the torch arrived. China as a result thanked Pakistan for its continuous support.
2008 China and Pakistan sign an FTA free trade agreement. It is the first such agreement signed by the two countries. As a direct result China will open new industries in Pakistan and Pakistan would be offered free trade zones in China.
2008 China vows to help Pakistan in civil nuclear technology by building and helping in the Khusab Nuclear Programme providing technology to Pakistan for better maintenance of civil nuclear plants.
2008 Pakistan and China to build first ever train routes near Karakrum Highway.
2008 The F-22P frigate, an advanced state-of-the-art Chinese navy frigate, comes into service with the Pakistani Navy.

CHRONOLOGY-Main events in Chinese-Pakistani relations

(Reuters Special report: Fri Nov 24, 2006)

Chinese President Hu Jintao, making the first visit to Pakistan by a Chinese president in a decade, promised on Friday to bolster his country’s ties with its old ally to a new level.

Following are some of the important events in relations between the neighbors.

1950 – Pakistan becomes third non-communist country, and first Muslim one, to recognize China.

1951 – China and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations.

1962 – China and India fight border war, providing new opportunities for Pakistan’s relations with China.

1963 – China and Pakistan reach first formal trade agreement.

1963 – China and Pakistan reach border agreement.

1965 – China supports Pakistan diplomatically in war with India, as it does again in 1971.

1965 – In response to war with India, U.S. cuts military support to Pakistan. China soon becomes Pakistan’s principal arms supplier.

1970 – Pakistan helps U.S. make contacts with China that result in visit to China by then U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1971.

1978 – Karakoram Highway linking mountainous northern Pakistan with western China officially opens.

1980s – China and U.S. supply help through Pakistan to Afghan guerrillas fighting Soviet occupation forces.

1986 – China and Pakistan reach comprehensive nuclear cooperation agreement.

1996 – Chinese President Jiang Zemin pays state visit to Pakistan.

1999 – A 300-megawatt nuclear power plant, built with Chinese help in Punjab province, is completed. China is helping to build a second 300-megawatt nuclear plant due to be finished by 2010.

2002 – Chinese Vice Premier Wu Banggu attends ground-breaking ceremony for Pakistan’s Gwadar deep-sea port. China provides $198 million for $248 million joint project.

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