Pakistan and China enjoy a friendship which is based on trust, reciprocity, respect for each other and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs.
It has been more than 63 years since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. Over the period, the two brotherly countries proved that the relations between them have gone beyond the traditional “diplomatic” ties, and were more than conventional “international relations.”
There have been many ups and downs in international affairs when one of the two stood vulnerable and the other came to rescue. The nascent diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China have now grown into a strategic partnership.
Pakistan at the official as well as the public level acknowledges its good relations with China. Reports of several surveys conducted by different agencies reveal that more than 80 percent of the country believe China to be a true friend of Pakistan.
However, an interesting phenomenon has developed in the recent past. Several media houses, most of which are Western-funded, are publishing material which is comprehensively focused on issues related to Pakistan-China relations. The objective is to create misunderstanding between the people of the two countries toward each other, thus weakening Pakistan-China ties.
A Western scholar who visited Pakistan mentions in one of his articles that the bilateral ties between Pakistan and China are not as strong as they seem. He says that people in northern areas often complain about Chinese workers for not respecting their cultural traditions.
There are many other stories in the media which all have only one purpose which, I believe, is to create misunderstandings in the hearts of the people on both sides. Isolated incidents are quoted, blown out of proportion and generalized to color the picture.
NATO and the US are disengaging from Afghanistan, and now the whole focus of the US is toward China. The world’s second largest economy is progressing at a constant pace, and is expanding its trade and commercial ties all around the world.
The Pakistan-China strategic partnership is transforming into Pakistan-China economic interdependence.
The two countries are engaged in the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, which would give China the shortest and most secure economic and energy transport route and also provide Pakistan with immense economic benefits.
China’s dependence on the Strait of Malacca will end because of Pakistan, and it will no longer remain vulnerable to any energy blockade in a time of crisis.
The US, with the help of its allies in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region including Australia and India, is preparing to contain China in the region.
With the help of Pakistan, China has broken out of the circle of containment which the US was setting up for it.
Therefore, when the containment plan fails, the next move adopted by Western policymakers is to break the strong bond of friendship between Pakistan and China. Propaganda in the media is the easiest way to create misunderstandings.
Nonetheless, in the past 63 years the ties between Pakistan and China have become so strong that they cannot be harmed by propaganda tactics.
People in Pakistan and China are wise enough to comprehend such baseless efforts to weaken bilateral ties.
The two governments also need to encourage people-to-people engagement on both sides, so that the bilateral friendship could be promoted to further levels.
People from all walks of life, including businessman, traders, students, artists, and journalists, should be encouraged to interact with each other, so that the people of the two countries develop a better mutual understanding and are no longer vulnerable to propaganda.
Source: Global Times, July 30, 2014
Disclaimer: Views are of the writer and do not necessarily reflect policy of IPRI.