The Sino-Pakistan relationship presents a model for friendly relations between two opposing ideological settings and markedly different economic systems during and after the Cold War at bipolar, multi-polar, and uni-polar world. It was because of this close fraternal understanding that bilateral relations were promoted between the two countries irrespective of domestic political regime changes and issues even since Pakistan recognised the Peoples Republic of China on January 4, 1950. Pakistan was the first country that had recognised the PRC as the sole legitimate 'government' of the people of China by dismissing the possibility of according this status to the Republic of China, known as Taiwan or Formosa under General Chiang Kaishek. Pakistan's One-China policy was based on unforeseeable wisdom. As diplomatic relations were established between the two countries on May 12, 1951, high level lateral exchanges became a regular feature of mutual contact between the two countries. In recent times, especially by the 1990s, there has occurred a much stronger momentum for high level exchanges. By the same token, President Pervez Musharraf undertook his first six-day official foreign visit to China from April 10-15 after the formation of the new elected government. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Chairman Higher Education Commission Dr Atta ur Rehman, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Muhammad Akram Sheikh, and Chairman Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Tariq Ikram. Besides bilateral level, both countries have been enhancing cooperation through multilateral forms; namely the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the ASEAN-Regional Forum (ARF) from East Asia to Eurasia. The two rounds of talks that were held at southernmost city of Sanya, in the Hainan province, covered a wide range of issues including cooperation against extremism and terrorism which is also a matter of concern between the two countries at the SCO and ARF level. The Boao Forum for Asia has also emerged as another vital platform to discuss economic issues facing Asia from a wider perspective. Musharraf's widening of his visit at Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, has also a tremendous importance for creating harmony among various groups in Xinjiang. The Sino-Pakistan bilateral economic relationship has got an immense strategic importance in the region. Trade between the two countries has been going on under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), commenced in 2006. To attract investment from the private sector, the Pakistan-China Joint Investment Company has been set-up in 2007, understanding that the Chinese private investment does not commensurate with the close status of bilateral ties between the two countries. It is learnt that the Chinese government will continue to encourage Chinese companies to enhance cooperation with Pakistani companies in areas including finance, telecom, energy and transportation. Moreover, both countries are planning to enhance mutual economic ties under the Joint Five Year Economic Plan. Realising the vitality of the emerging Sino-Pakistan economic ties, President Hu Jintao descried ties with Pakistan as 'high priority relationship' and noted that over the years, substantial improvement has been made in Sino-Pak ties. Bilateral trade figure has been reaching US$6.8 billion at present and if the trend continues, it is expected that it would touch upon the target of US$15 billion in the foreseeable future. Trade balance is, however, in China's favour. Chinese businessmen have a habit of exporting more to Pakistan and buying very little from Pakistan on the basis of many reasons they put forward. Under the Joint Five Year Economic Plan, it is expected that exports from Pakistan into China would also increase at a big level. Trade would further flourish and would be in Pakistan's favour, when transit trade and route facilities through the Gwadar Deep Sea Port would be built. Both sides have been negotiating and making progress on the transit trade agreement that loomed large during the present visit. The transit trade agreement would broaden the scope of the PTA. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project that may include China, improved connectivity through the realignment of Karakoram Highway (work inauguration was started in February this year) by including Tajikistan, adding a fibre-optic line, oil and pipeline projects, and a rail track linking China with the Gwadar Port would boost trade between the two countries. The China Development Bank could provide support for the Bhasha-Diamer Dam. The development of the Thar coal reserves to generate electricity is another vital sector of mutual cooperation and there is an urgent need to kick-start this project to meet the energy crisis. This project has a great potential to export electricity to neighbouring countries. So a tremendous boost in economic relationship is in the offing to inject a radical shift in the existing economic relations between the two countries. Musharraf remarked, "The Pak-China joint infrastructure development ventures would not only strengthen ties between the two countries, but also help bring stability and prosperity to the region by enhancing transit trade and greater interaction among the regional countries." Musharraf's visit has achieved tangible and immediate outcomes. For instance, meeting the ever-growing gap between the supply and demand of the electricity shortage, which is going to over 4000 megawatt soon, China assured Pakistan of setting up four new nuclear power plants each worth 1,300 MW. Two plants would be set at Chashma and the remaining two at Karachi. Pakistan already has a 300 MW Chashma Power Plant, built with Chinese assistance, while work is underway on Chashma-II. Soon after the formation of the new government, Chinese Dong Fong Corp has signed a contract to build a 525 megawatt power plant at Chicho-ki-malian. Nuclear power supply is below 1 percent of total electricity needs in the country. Rising fuel prices have been demanding to generate nuclear, coal, hydro, solar, wind, and other alternative sources of energy to overcome the chronic electricity shortage. Two MoU and an agreement were inked during the visit to extend cooperation in managing water resources, hydropower, sports and culture, and cooperation in the area of engineering, sciences and technology. Under the later agreement a consortium of Chinese universities will help set-up a modern international level university in Islamabad. In short, Sino-Pakistan relations have been expanding in multiple directions and going to prove further beneficial not only for both countries mutual needs but for the region as a whole in the future. The writer is Research Fellow (East Asia) at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Islamabad