President Ayub Khan meets Chairman Mao Tse Tung

 

Visionary decisions of the past can serve a nation for many generations in the future. The border treaty signed between Pakistan and China on 2nd March 1963, marked the beginning of a new era in Sino Pak relations. In the aftermath of the Sino India war of 1962, Pakistan’s leadership decided to demarcate the Pakistan China border which hitherto, had not been defined. The agreement was signed by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Chen Yi, the then foreign ministers of Pakistan and China respectively. Under the agreement, both states decided to demarcate the border based on the traditional boundaries of the region. Not only did the treaty avert the danger of potential border conflicts, but it also paved the way for stronger ties between Pakistan and China.

In retrospect, the treaty was of great consequence in the development of strategic relations between Pakistan and China. China Pakistan Economic Corridor would not have been possible had the borderline remained undefined. In contrast, the relations between India and China have been affected by the border dispute which has culminated in border skirmishes. The border conflict once again intensified in May this year where India suffered heavy casualties. Despite having a high volume of bilateral trade, the relations between India and China remain hostile. On the other hand, Pakistan and China support each other’s stance on border issues with India, allowing them to maintain their strategic position in the region.