Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari is cracking down a new history of bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Peoples' Republic of China. Since assuming the office of president on September 6 last, he made three visits to China namely; October 14-17, 2008, February 20-23, and April 17-19, 2009. The present visit was undertaken on August 21-25, which is the fourth in the series in the last 12 months. In this respect, President Asif Zardari has gone an extra mile in consolidating the existing foundation of the friendship between the two countries. The main purpose behind President Zardari to undertake visits to China every three months is to learn from the Chinese development experience. This anew invention in both countries, with already warm relations, is going to have a positive impact on Pakistan's development especially in building new industrial infrastructure and intercontinental transportation corridors by proving sea access to China through its western region. China has not only emerged as Pakistan's largest trading partner for the last several years, the future trade of Pakistan would also greatly depend on China. Pakistan is striving very hard to maintain a strategic balance with the United States of America with a strong tilt towards China for fighting an expensive War on Terror with the support of the former and making strides in economic progress through the assistance of the latter. A new burgeoning friendship of Pakistan with China is not only the call of the day; it is a destiny of the State of Pakistan ever since the success of the Peoples' Revolution in China in October 1949. Pakistan is not consolidating its strategic position with China under the changing regional circumstances as mostly presented by analysts because it is an established fact and both countries do not need to make any such efforts. Rather Pakistan pursues a pragmatic and a realistic policy toward China, which is not the product of the Cold or post-Cold War era. Neither Pakistan's enmity with India nor relationship with the United States affects Pakistan relations with China. Above all, ideological orientations also do not govern Sino-Pakistan relationship. Pakistan's policy toward China is strongly based on the principles of all-weather friendship. Each visit witnessed the signing of a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between the two countries. As part of the present tour, President Asif Zardari visited Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces of China's East Coast. The significance of these provinces for Pakistan is that both of these provinces operate large amount of trade with Pakistan. In February 2009, President Zardari visited Hubei province and Shanghai. China is already extending cooperation in a wide range of fields. The centrepiece of the present visit had been the signing of over six MoUs in the field of cooperation in education, fisheries, agriculture, hydro dams, and investment. Under the hydro MoU, a dam will be constructed at Bunji in the Astore District of the Northern Areas to generate 7000 megawatts of electricity. This will make the Bunji Dam the largest source of electricity in the country, keeping in mind that Tarbela produces 3740 MW electricity, while the proposed Diamer-Bhasa Dam will generate 4500 MW electricity. The Three Gorges Project Corporation of China has been assigned to undertake the project of Bunji Dam on Built, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis, which meant that the entire capital will be made by Chinese entrepreneurs. During the past three visits, both countries signed a number of other agreements to generate additional electricity by building other 12 small and medium sized dams. Chinese companies have already been working on a number of hydro projects in Pakistan including Neelum-Jhelum, Gomal Zam, and Mangla raising. Besides hydro cooperation, Pakistan also sought Chinese assistance in thermal and solar power generation. China also supports Pakistan in nuclear energy power projects. Facing low agricultural outputs and food shortage and price hike, Pakistan is trying to learn from Chinese method of cultivation. For this purpose, a research link has been established between the South China Agricultural University and the Sindh Agriculture University at Tandojam. The MoU tends to aims at capacity-building, training of researchers, up-gradation of existing laboratories, and to undertake new research projects. It is hoped that such collaboration would help increase Pakistan's agricultural production particularly of rice, cotton, sugarcane, and oil seeds. Annual trade between the two sides is increasing to nearly US$ 8 billion with a target exceeding to US$ 15 billion by 2011. Trade is heavily tilted in favour of China. With the coming of the agreement on trade in 11 services sectors from October 1, 2009, which was signed in February this year during President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to China, trade is further going to be boosted between the two countries. In short, Sino-Pakistan bilateralism is based on unlimited and long-lasting relationship, and with each passing day the contour of ties will keep expanding and consolidating in different directions. Historically, bilateral relationship survived several regional and global shocks from Taiwan to Pakistan's participation on US-led military alliances in the 1950s, from the 1962 Sino-Indian border clash to last year's Mumbai attacks, from 9/11 to the killings of Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and from the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 to present Xingjian uprisings. In addition to bilateralism, regional locomotives such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), where China acts as Observer, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), where Pakistan has been included as Observer, and the ASEAN-Regional Forum (ARF) are multilateral fora for an extended Sino-Pakistan cooperation in the outer regions. All this reflects the strong and deep ties between the two countries - Pakistan and China - over the past six decades. The writer is a research fellow (East Asia) at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)