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Strengthening anti-terrorism cooperation between China and Pakistan

The China-Pakistan military and strategic relationship continue to deepen, at present, China and Pakistan should further deepen bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation, strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation in various aspects, and build a sound anti-terrorism governance cooperation system. The Chinese government should actively encourage and guide Chinese enterprises in Pakistan to set up risk early warning systems and information cooperation mechanisms

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Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in May 1951, China and Pakistan have always maintained good bilateral relations, and the two countries share a common development vision. Recently, however, there have been many terrorist attacks against China in Pakistan, causing many local Chinese citizens casualties. On the evening of April 21st, 2021, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of Serena Hotel in Quetta, capital of Balochistan Province, killing at least five people, including one policeman, and injuring 12 others.

Mir Ziaullah Langove, Home Minister of Balochistan Province, said at a news conference that the Chinese ambassador was the target of the attack. On July 14th, 2021, another terrorist attack against China occurred at Dasu Hydropower Station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which killed 9 Chinese and three Pakistanis, and many others were injured in the attack. This is the most serious terrorist attack that Chinese citizens have suffered in Pakistan in recent years. However, just over a month later, on August 20th, in the Gwadar Expressway project in Balochistan province, the motorcade carrying Chinese personnel was attacked by a suicide bomb again, causing one Chinese personnel to be slightly injured, two local children to die and many others injured.

Read more: Pak-China enterprises to cooperate in potato processing

The world continues to face many challenges 

With the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, terrorist groups in the third county and some areas are increasing their penetration into Afghanistan, and Pakistan is also facing severe terrorist challenges, with more and more attacks against ethnic minorities and their places of worship. In addition, ethnic separatist movements in some regions are also an important source of terrorism.

The continued existence and even spread of terrorist activities in Pakistan will not only affect the personal safety of Pakistani people and personnel of Chinese investment in Pakistan, but also threaten the smooth progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, undermine Pakistan’s economic development and social stability, and also affect the normal exchanges between China and Pakistan. At present, China and Pakistan should further deepen bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation, strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation in various aspects, and build a sound anti-terrorism governance cooperation system.

Firstly, enhance political mutual trust between the two countries and deepen all-weather strategic partnership. The Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Deepening China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Partnership, issued on March 17th, 2020, further emphasizes that the two sides will make joint efforts to strengthen China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership. The solid political foundation and bilateral relations between China and Pakistan are powerful guarantees for China and Pakistan to cope with Pakistan’s complicated and changeable political situation and fight terrorism.

Read more: China to issue commemorative coins for 70 years of Pak-China ties

China and Pakistan should further enhance political mutual trust, establish an effective anti-terrorism cultural mechanism and strengthen consultation and cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani governments on specific anti-terrorism issues. For example, strengthen cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of financial counter-terrorism. China and Pakistan can strengthen cooperation in the construction of financial supervision systems, monitoring system of financial flows of terrorist organizations, and anti-terrorism financial working group.

The importance of bilateral economic ties

Secondly, deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation and promote the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor. Improving the people’s living standards and poverty ard areas is the fundamental way to eradicate the breeding ground of terrorism. Therefore, itching and Pakistan must strengthen economic cooperation to promote the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor. China and Pakistan take the opportunity to construct the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to strengthen the cooperation between Chinese enterprises and local governments and jointly promote the economic development of various regions along the route to realizing all-around economic and social development.

Chinese enterprises should deepen their research on areas along the economic corridor, and increase the participation of local people by providing more employment opportunities and recruiting more local people. With the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the number of Chinese enterprises in Pakistan has increased, and they are widely distributed. While China and Pakistan are strengthening national security forces, enterprises should also enhance their security awareness and capabilities.

The Chinese government should actively encourage and guide Chinese enterprises in Pakistan to set up risk early warning systems and information cooperation mechanisms between the government and enterprises. The whole risk early warning system should be based on enterprises in Pakistan, supplemented by various security companies and research think tanks. The government should guide and support enterprises to improve their ability to prevent terrorist activities through risk identification, security construction, and security training.

Finally, consolidate the foundation of public opinion between the two countries and promote friendly exchanges between China and Pakistan. China’s friendship lies in people’s friendship. Promoting China-Pakistan cultural friendly exchanges and consolidating the public opinion base of the two countries are effective ways to eliminate the terrorist forces in Pakistan from slandering China.

Read more: Israeli news paper poses negative rhetoric on Pak-China cooperation in Afghanistan

Strategies for the future 

With the advancement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been labeled as a development trap by countries with ulterior motives, and there have been comments or even hostility against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan, which has made the public opinion environment for the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor continue to deteriorate.

China and Pakistan should strengthen the public opinion propaganda and cooperation on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, accurately interpret the China – Pakistan Economic Corridor, and actively demonstrate the remarkable promotion effect of the cooperation results of the China – Pakistan Economic Corridor on local economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood.

There are some shortcomings in the cooperation process between China and Pakistan in the field of counter-terrorism, which requires both sides to take more pragmatic, flexible, and effective countermeasures against the weak links of terrorist organizations in Pakistan at the tactical level, further, deepening bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan at the strategic level, address both the symptoms and the root causes, and take multiple measures to find out the matching points of China-Pakistan anti-terrorism cooperation, and establish a closer China-Pakistan anti-terrorism cooperation system to achieve long-term stability of the two countries.

By: Yili Zhang & Darui Zhou

 

Yili Zheng is a Scholar at Southwest University of Political Science & Law. Darui Zhou is a Scholar at Southwest University of Political Science & Law.  The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space. 

 

 

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