Pakistan has consistently maintained close connections with China and the United States based on security, political, and economic considerations. China is our financial partner, while the US is our strategic and security partner.

Due to the US and China’s struggles, Pakistan may need help maintaining ties with both nations. It may be forced to choose between maintaining its closer security and economic relationship with China and addressing these problems with the US and other parts of the world.

In managing bilateral ties with these crucial strategic partners, Pakistan should be cautious and resist the urge to take a side. To reduce tensions between the two superpowers and foster regional development, Pakistan should behave as “a neutral actor” and serve as “a melting pot” for convergent Chinese and American interests.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure investment initiative, calls for China to play a more prominent leadership role in world affairs in light of its expanding power and status. The BRI involves investments in nearly close to 150 nations. The BRI’s core project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will significantly help China and Pakistan; Pakistan has a significant stake in the megaproject. Pakistan had to work hard to contrast itself with ethnocentric beliefs in this environment of severe excellent power conflict to maximize its benefits without offending either side. In response to China’s increasing threats to the US economic interests, values, and security, Washington is taking decisive action’s counter China. The Indo-Pacific region is a critical area of strategic confrontation between the US and China. The US Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) is a crucial tool Washington uses to counterbalance China’s growing influence and power among the nations bordering the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Pakistan has not solely sided with Beijing or Washington DC in their conflict. However, how long Pakistan will be managed to preserve this precarious balance between the two superpowers is still being determined. Pakistan must exercise caution due to the significant concerns that the escalating rivalry between the US and China poses to peace and stability in South Asia.

Increasing Sino-US hostility over Taiwan and the South China Sea has led to deliberate US policies and actions against China.

To restrain China, the US has reactivated the QUAD Group, which consists of Australia, India, Japan, and the USA.  China may surpass the United States as the dominant superpower in the future. Beijing, though, sees it differently since it wants to control the world’s economy rather than pursue global hegemony.

Resisting pressure to side with China in its geopolitical war with the United States and avoiding placing all of its bets in one basket is in Pakistan’s best interests. Pakistan’s national interest should be the only criterion for preserving relations with these two significant nations. Islamabad must continue to navigate its relationships with every considerable power cautiously. Pakistan has to develop its ties with the rest of the world, including China, Russia, and the United States, by expanding its networks of friendship and cooperation.

To further its national interests, Pakistan must work to maintain a consistent relationship with both superpowers, ignoring any leaning towards any of them at any particular time. In the case of Pakistan, the strategic rivalry between China and the US will impact several aspects of Pakistan’s security on a larger scale, including its political, military, and economic security. It first affects Pakistan’s political ties with China, Iran, Russia, and the Gulf States. Second, as a frontline state in the fight against terrorism, Pakistan’s strategic worth has increased on a military level. Finally, CPEC offers chances for Pakistan’s economy and regional connectivity on an economic level. Until recently, Pakistan had effectively boosted its security by taking advantage of its place in the U.S.-China-Pakistan strategic triangle.

Pakistan faces a security problem due to the intensification of the U.S.-China great-power conflict, the U.S. embrace of India as a counterweight to China, and the closer alignment of Pakistan’s and China’s strategic goals.

Islamabad must navigate this great-power competition with difficulty as the importance of middle powers grows. Despite Pakistan’s shared interests with China, the hedging theory demonstrates how Islamabad could benefit from cooperation with Washington on matters of strategic importance. Pakistan’s new national policy would aid working with both powers, prioritizing geo-economics above geopolitics.

Pakistan should move towards new security arrangements instead of waiting for American favors. Instead of becoming a pawn in geopolitical rivalry, Pakistan hopes to maintain its strategic independence, play a unique role in regional cooperation and security, and contribute to regional development and prosperity.

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