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The China agenda

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NEXT week, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China, Pakistan’s primary strategic partner.

The visit will take place at a critical moment in global politics. A new Cold War has been declared by the US against China and Russia. The world order established after the Second World War is being dismantled by the Trump administration. The US and other major countries no longer feel constrained by international law from the unilateral use of force, pressure and intervention against smaller states. The global trade regime is being torn apart. The financial system is under stress.

In these turbulent times, Pakistan’s relationship with China provides an essential anchor for its security and foreign policy and the foundation for its socioeconomic development. China meets Pakistan’s defence requirements; it is building Pakistan’s infrastructure; it is a bulwark against aggression by India and bullying by the US.

There is need for more vocal Chinese support to Pakistan on its core security challenges.

Although Pakistan-China relations are rock solid, in the current geopolitical circumstances, when both Pakistan and China confront threats and pressure from their adversaries, it appears essential to elevate their strategic partnership to an even higher level.

The prime minister’s visit to China was preceded a few weeks ago by that of Pakistan’s army chief who is reported to have discussed the further development of defence and security cooperation between the two countries at very high levels in Beijing. The decisions for intensified security cooperation will no doubt be affirmed by the prime minister and Chinese leaders.

The two countries need each other’s support on the political challenges they face at present.........

© Dawn