Brief-Article | REPORT SYNDICATION
The Sino-Pakistan Agreement (also known as the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement and Sino-Pak Boundary Agreement) is a 1963 document between the governments of Pakistan and China establishing the border between those countries.
It resulted in China ceding over 1,942 to 5,180 square kilometres (750 to 2,000 sq mi) to Pakistan, and Pakistan recognizing Chinese sovereignty over hundreds of square kilometers of land in Northern Kashmir and Ladakh.
The agreement is controversial, not recognized as legal by India, which also claims sovereignty over part of the land.
In addition to increasing tensions with India, the agreement shifted the balance of the Cold War by bringing Pakistan and China closer together, while loosening ties between Pakistan and the United States.
Here’s how the agreement was reached
In 1959, Pakistan became concerned that Chinese maps showed areas of Pakistan in China. In 1961, Ayub Khan sent a formal Note to China, there was no reply.
It is thought that the Chinese may not have been motivated to negotiate with Pakistan because of Pakistan’s relations with India, with which China was soon to enter a war.
After Pakistan voted to grant China a seat in the United Nations, the Chinese withdrew the disputed maps in January 1962, agreeing to enter border talks in March.
Negotiations between the nations officially began on October 13, 1962 and resulted in an agreement being signed on 2 March 1963. It was signed by foreign ministers Chen Yi for the Chinese and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for the Pakistani.
The agreement resulted in China withdrawing from about 750 sq m of territory, and Pakistan withdrawing its claim to about 800 sq m of territory (which it had not in fact occupied or administered).
China’s extended territory became known as Trans-Karakoram Tract. The area is part of Kargilik County.
Significance of the agreement
The agreement was moderately economically advantageous to Pakistan, which received grazing lands in the deal, but of far more significance politically, as it both diminished potential for conflict between China and Pakistan and, Syed indicates, “placed China formally and firmly on record as maintaining that Kashmir did not, as yet, belong to India.
India does not recognize the agreement, under which China holds 5,180 square kilometres (2,000 sq mi) of northern Kashmir, as legal.
According to Jane’s International Defence Review, the agreement was also of significance in the Cold War, as Pakistan had ties with the United States and membership in the Central Treaty Organization and the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization.
The agreement was part of an overall tightening of association with China for Pakistan, which resulted in Pakistan’s gradual distancing from the United States.
After defining borders, the two countries also entered into agreements with respect to trade and air-travel, the latter of which was the first such international agreement China had entered with a country that was not Communist.