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Ayub’s Visit to China

Ayub’s Visit to China

On February 9th it was announced that President Ayub Khan would visit China. On 2nd march 1965 President Ayub khan with his officials takes off to China on eight day visit. During his visit a joint communiqué was issued on 7th March in which the matters of common interests were highlighted with full assurance of friendly mutual co-operation. The President Ayub Khan visit to China in 1965 is of great importance because it was the first visit by any of the Pakistani President which demonstrated the change in Pakistan’s foreign policy in 60’s and afterwards almost all the Presidents visited China.

 

Pakistan accepted Republic of China in 1950 but the diplomatic relations started in 1951. The Sino- Pakistan relations during the first decade can be divided into three phases. The first phase started from 1951 to 1954 in which the relations were at modest level in trade and occasional official visits by both countries. Second phase started after Bandung Conference in which the exchange of talks and good will increased to a higher level. Most of the enthusiasm was shown by the Chinese side rather than Pakistani side. Third phase started from 1957 to early 1961 in which the trend of relation was downwards.  Initially Pakistan was an ally of America and perceived China as a threat of communism. The boundary between the two countries was not defined and Chinese claimed certain areas of Hunza and Gilgit their own which was shown through their maps. Some statements of Pakistani official supported Two- China which dented the relations of both countries. On the other hand the relation between India and China was at peak in 50’s as both promoted brotherhood and mutual co-operation. It was during the Non Alignment Movement that the friendship started converting into hostility between India and China. America started giving India more importance after the change of government in 1961. The Kennedy administration considered India as a country which could check the growing Communism and Chinese power in this region. Pakistan was not given the same status even though it was an ally and the hopes of Pakistani government that USA would tried to resolve the Kashmir issued by pressuring India as it was providing it with a lot of assistance proved fruitless. India was getting benefits from both the blocks created after 2nd World War through its non aligned foreign policy. The defense  pacts of USA with India were also perceived as a threat to its security by Pakistan. It was the time for Pakistan to change its foreign policy and maintain equilibrium in its foreign relation between the aliened and non aliened countries. In 1959 the government of Pakistan offered to negotiate on the undefined boundary with China. The relations started improving when China responded after Pakistan voted for its right to be in the United Nations. The Sino- India war in 1962 also played a vital role in the improvement of relation between Pakistan and China as Pakistan’s sympathies were with China. In 1963 the Boundary Commission started negotiations which proved to be successful and resulted in the Border Agreement.

 

Now onwards the foreign policy of both the countries was based on friendly mutual co-operation and the visit of President Ayub Khan was the sign of goodwill toward China. During his visit he met with the Chairman Liu Shao- Chi and the Premier Chou En- lia. A joint Communiqué was issued on 7th march stated that in order to make the relation of the two countries more co-operative and friendly talks were held. Both the countries were convinced that if the Asian and African countries held the ten principles that were mentioned in the Bandung Conference the mutual co-operation can be developed despite of the differences existed in their social systems. The importance of these principles was demonstrated through the relations between Pakistan and China. Both the countries were pleased on accomplishing the task of boundary demarcation that was planned in the border agreement of March 1963. The China- Pakistan boundary commission proved itself worthy for the task that would increased the friendly relations between the two countries. Both countries believed that in order to gain political independence the most important condition is the economic development for African and Asian countries. Both the countries stressed on cultural co-operation. Both agreed that racial discrimination, imperialism and colonialism are the hurdles for any country in order to get independence so these hurdles should be removed for a peaceful World. The Asian-African Solidarity could play a key role to finish them off. They oppose the nuclear weaponisation in South-East Asia as that would increase the threat of mass destruction and stressed on the prohibition of these nuclear weapon. Both the country hoped that the Sino-Indian boundary settlement could be materialized in future through negotiation to bring peace in the region. The President Ayub once again stressed that United Nation should recognize China and the scheme of two China should be abandoned. Both agreed that the unresolved Kashmir issue is the matter of great threat for peace and the United Nations should resolved it according to desires of Kashmiri people. President Ayub also invited the Chinese Chairman to Pakistan which was accepted warmly. On his return from China on 9th March 1965 he was greatly satisfied with the progress during the visit.

 

The visit was of a great importance in the foreign policy of Pakistan as Pakistan started friendly relations with China. This friendly relation proved very helpful in coming years as China became an all weathers friend. China proved to be a sincere friend by helping Pakistan in all the difficult times.

About Ali Tariq

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