The Future of China-Pakistan Strategic Partnership: Implications for The Evolving Gulf Landscape

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Abdul Wahab Khan
Ali Murad Kaloi
Muhammad Adeel


China Pakistan relations can be classified as strategic partnership which has been molded through time and over the decade has expanded not only in the military-acquisition domain but also in the economic front and diplomatic realm. This relationship was anchored on CPEC, which is one of China’s most significant BRI projects; it entails linking Gwadar Port in Pakistan to China’s Xinjiang province. This partnership does not only foster and further the friendly relations between the two countries but also improve the strategic standing of both nations in the Gulf region which is very important for energy and economic factors. Therefore, the China-Pakistan alliance presents considerable consequences for the shift in the gulf area. Strengthening of Sino-Pak relationships improves the strengths in terms of bargaining for both the countries in the gulf and provides them with secure supply of energy along with other economic incentives. This partnership also affects the structures of securing the Gulf region by Chinese expanding their naval forces in the Indian Ocean and Pakistan on the other side has military bonds with Saudi Arabia and UAE exclusively. Hence such cooperation may offset other hegemonic players such as India and or US and contribute to order by eradicating terrorism and enhancing marine security in the region. However, new trends in the configuration of the Gulf region pose threats as well as possibilities for the China-Pakistan axis. Negotiating regional animosities, particularly with Saudi Arabia and Iran, is delicate work that requires soft power. Also, the ongoing efforts by some of the Gulf States to diversify their economy from over reliance on oil to other such sectors as information technology and renewable energy provides further opportunities for business partnerships. By doing so and by handling challenges arising from the regional antagonism, the China-Pakistan strategic partnership can be an important factor towards reformulating the destinies of the gulf region’s stability and prosperity.

Keywords: China, Pakistan, Gulf Region, Hegemony, Regional Antagonism

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