Two things have changed in recent years. Washington signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in February, signaling an end to U.S. involvement in the conflict. At the same time, China dramatically prolonged its outreach and investment in Pakistan. China has traditionally maintained close defense and security relations with Pakistan, and in recent years has encouraged joint manufacturing of various military related hardware, including the JF-17 multipurpose fighting aircraft. Over the past five years, China prolonged its economic outreach with Pakistan as the country became an anchor in its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), part of an ambitious plan to build new trade routes through Central and South Asia. Nearly $30 billion in investments under the BRI-linked bilateral cooperation known as a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, have bettered Pakistani roads and ports and have addressed the country’s energy crisis. Although Washington criticized CPEC-related investments, saying Chinese companies building the infrastructure often reap most of the economic benefits, leaving foreign countries in a so-called “debt trap.” China and Pakistan discard the U.S. criticism of the projects. Khan has meanwhile contact to President Donald Trump’s administration to try to reset his country’s often turbulent relations with the U.S. The two leaders have held three face-to-face meetings since their introductory White House interaction in July 2019. Pakistan once acted as a bridge for Beijing and Washington in the 1970s during secret U.S.-China talks that resulted in their reconsillation. “Pakistan will likely find itself under increased U.S. pressure to scale back its economic ties with China. Islamabad has no interest in doing so, and its close relationship with Beijing boost the confines to deepening its partnership with Washington,” said Kugelman, the deputy South Asia program director at the Wilson Center, Since the start of the war in Afghanistan, the United States has been the major foundation of foreign aid for Islamabad, providing billions of dollars in military and civilian aid as part of the broader effort to thrash the Afghan Taliban. But from the beginning, there was also tension over whether Pakistan was helping or hurting the war effort. Khan and his aides admit that better ties with Washington has won crucial U.S. support for Pakistan to improve its credentials with FATF and to avoid being moved to the agency’s blacklist of nations.