China and Pakistan have strengthened trade and economic cooperation in a manner that is unparalleled. It is a friendship that the world looks upon with envy and suspicion, and this has particularly been the case ever since the two nations decided upon the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The corridor will interface Gwadar Port in Balochistan to Kashgar in northwestern China, which will make Gwadar completely operational as well as a huge remote ocean port in the district. Opened for operations in 2007, the control of Gwadar Port was handed over to China’s state-owned China Overseas Ports Holding in 2013. From that point forward, Gwadar has been experiencing a noteworthy extension to transform it into an undeniable, profound water business port. At the point when the corridor is developed, it will serve as an essential entryway for exchange amongst China and the Middle East and Africa. CPEC is a complete advancement programme that incorporates the connecting of Gwadar Port to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang through roadways, railroads, oil and gas pipelines, and an optical fibre interface.
Bilateral relations between the two countries have never been uneasy over the course of history, however, the public was curious as to whether Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from the position of prime minister by the Supreme Court would act as an obstacle to CPEC. However, it comes as a welcome relief that the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that the China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership will not be affected by the change of the situation. China expressed hope that various parties and sections in Pakistan could “prioritise state and national interests, properly deal with their domestic affairs, maintain unity and stability, and keep focusing on the economic and social development.”
The words of the freshly ousted prime minister ring true — Pakistan-China friendship truly is “higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the deepest sea in the world and sweeter than honey.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2017.