Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

From Strategic Partnership to Strategic Interdependence: The Pak-China Duo

Published 2021-03-29


China and Pakistan are frequently touted as “strategic partners” based on the historic journey that has fused both states in a resilient partnership. The bilateral relationship is multisectoral based on diplomatic, defence and socio-economic cooperation. If focus of the bilateral ties is to be pinpointed, it would be defence and security cooperation that has been the defining factor of the relationship. However, the equation transformed with the transformation in the geopolitical context of the South Asian region post-2011. Pakistan signed a major economic venture with China; the China Pakistan Economic Corridor besides opening up to Russia as well. After the launch of CPEC in 2015, the defence centric bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China changed into a mega economic partnership. The paper has attempted to understand this transformation between the two countries and make a case for “strategic interdependence” rather than strategic partnership. Since, interdependence takes a deeper meaning than partnership.