Soundings Papers: The Evolving Pakistan-China Maritime Economic Relationship in the Indian Ocean

Soundings No. 13
Soundings No. 13

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Anwar Saeed

Pakistan and China have a multidimensional relationship, providing a good example of peaceful coexistence between two states with differing beliefs, social and political systems. China has supported Pakistan economically, militarily and politically, while Pakistan was China’s only reliable free world diplomatic partner during its international isolation. In the context of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor, this paper argues that the close relationship between the two states is now shaping into a new economic network that creates a framework for interaction on the basis of economic connectivity and regional cooperation. As the ‘corridor’ connects the economic belt with the 21st century maritime silk road, the node at Gwadar Port will be important to future maritime cooperation between the two states.

In the backdrop of maritime competition emerging in the Indian Ocean region and prevailing nontraditional maritime security threats; this paper outlines the development of the Pakistan-China relationship, the importance of the Indian Ocean to global affairs, relevant maritime security issues and associated responses to protect shipping and trade, as well as the growing naval cooperation between Pakistan and China in the Indian Ocean.