New government, same old economic problems

April 11, 2022: The internal political change in Islamabad will not affect the solid friendship between China and Pakistan, the Global Times reported.

Chinese and Pakistani experts are confident in the future of China-Pakistan relations, as they believe the new government will continue to uphold the country’s long tradition of ensuring that friendship with China and all China-China cooperation projects -Pakistanis will be maintained. unaffected.

A new government will likely be formed under opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, after parliament convened on Monday to vote for a new prime minister, according to the media.

Chinese and Pakistani analysts believe that the strong China-Pakistan relations will not be affected by the internal political change in Pakistan because safeguarding and developing bilateral relations is the common consensus of all parties and groups in Pakistan.

Khan’s potential successor comes from the Sharif family which has long promoted China-Pakistan relations and cooperation between the two countries, he added.

The CPEC and the BRI, as well as China-Pakistan cooperation in other fields, including counter-terrorism and the fight against the coronavirus, are important for Pakistan to overcome its current challenges. This means China is the most reliable, trustworthy, powerful and irreplaceable partner for the country, analysts said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a routine press conference last week when asked about the current political situation in Pakistan that “China abides by the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners.” History has proven time and time again that China-Pakistan relations have always been unbreakable and rock-solid, regardless of changes in the international landscape and their respective domestic situations.

Zhao added, “We believe that the overall situation of China-Pakistan cooperation and the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor will not be affected by the political situation in Pakistan. As Pakistan’s ironclad friend, we sincerely hope that all parties in Pakistan will remain united and work together for development and national stability.”

The latest political change in Pakistan is mainly caused by political party struggles and people’s economy and livelihood issues, said Qian Feng, director of the research department of the University’s National Institute of Strategy. Tsinghua. Qian added that the current internal problems in Pakistan have nothing to do with its strong ties with China, so there will be no significant impact on China-Pakistan cooperation. Khan hails from a new political party – the Pakistan Justice Movement – and when the main traditional political parties like the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) or the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) return to power, Sino- Pakistani Party could be even better because these big traditional parties have much closer and deeper ties to China, Qian noted.

When Sharif was regional chief of the eastern province of Punjab, he entered into numerous BRI cooperation agreements with China directly to improve local infrastructure and economic development, and his family has long-standing ties with China as his brother Nawaz Sharif is a three-time former prime minister and leader who started the CPEC project, experts said.

Rana Ali Qaisar Khan, an executive member of the Standing Central Committee of the National Party of Pakistan and an expert on China-Pakistan relations, told the Global Times that “China is Pakistan’s friend in all weathers, so no matter who leads the government, they cannot affect relations” with China.

The latest major defense cooperation announced by China in February on the export of advanced J-10C fighter jets to Pakistan has significantly improved the combat capability of the Pakistani Air Force, analysts say. .

“China has strong and friendly ties with all groups in Pakistan, including the military and all parties whether in power or not,” Lin Minwang, a professor at the Institute of International Studies from Fudan University.

China has never acted to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and the reason why China can have an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with Pakistan is that China deals equally with all parties that come to power and respect their reasonable request and stay away from their internal affairs, Lin said.

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