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China lends unequivocal support for safeguarding Pakistan’s national independence.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that China would continue to support Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and support Pakistan to choose its own development path.

Is there any incentive for China to sign a bilateral protection pact (like the USA has with Japan or Korea) with Pakistan?

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It would be a really bad idea for China to do that because it opens up the door to war with India which would be devastating for both countries. In the past when India and Pakistan have gone to war China hasn't stepped up and helped Pakistan precisely because it wants to avoid a catastrophic confrontation with India. China's focus is on its economy. War is not good for the economy.

As for China's deepening involvement with Pakistan that is designed to create an alternative trade route for its western regions. However, as things stand today China-India trade is over a $100bn annually which dwarfs China-Pakistan trade. No way is China upsetting that apple cart.

  • Also note that Pakistan still has an informal alliance with the US, although that has eroded it has not completely disappeared. The US military has operated from Pakistan. I am not sure that China would want to sign a military alliance wirh a country like that. – xuq01 Jun 28 '18 at 5:55
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Pressure on India
Chinese Industry competes with Indian industry.

The two countries dispute territory. The yellow areas are all disputed. Maps in India and China each show the Pradesh territory as part of their own country. Interestingly, Google Earth shows a different border line on this territory depending on where the user is. In the Sino-Indian war, in 1962, Pakistan verbally supported China.

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So having the largest nation, Pakistan, on India's other side as an ally has advantages. What if in the future China shut off certain trade to India? Having other neighboring countries on their side would help.

Secondly, Pakistan has made an effort to be friendly to China for some time. The two countries have a lot of trade. China's main cotton source was Pakistan for a long time.

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