Pakistan was among the first countries to end official diplomatic relationships with the Republic of China and recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) regime on Mainland China. Since then both countries have made good relations amongst them as a priority.
The PRC has provided economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan, and each country considers the other a close strategic ally. China is one of Pakistan’s largest supplier of arms and its third largest trade partner. Diplomatic relations were established in 1950, boundary issues resolved in 1963, military assistance began in 1966, a strategic alliance was formed in 1972, and economic co-operation began in 1979.
A central part of Pakistan’s foreign policy is maintaining good relations with China. In 1986, President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq visited China to improve diplomatic relations, and Pakistan was one of only two countries, to offer crucial support to the PRC after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. China supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, while Pakistan supports China on the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan.
Pakistan serves as the main bridge to connections with the Islamic World, and also played an important role in bridging communication gaps between China and the West.
As economic relationships between the two countries have grown stronger a free trade agreement has been signed, and China has pledged to increase its investment in Pakistan’s economy and infrastructure. On 26 April, China Mobile announced $1 billion of investment in Pakistan in telecommunication infrastructure and in the training of its officials within a period of three years. On 22 April 2015, China released its first overseas investment project under the Belt and Road Initiative for developing a hydropower station near Jhelum. The biggest economic development yet is to open up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has changed the situation completely as China has carved an enormous plan for economic growth and development in Pakistan.
Pakistan is reported to have the most positive view of China in the world.