When Mao Zedong sent General Geng Biao as Pakistan’s second ambassador in 1970, he was told, “Look at Pakistan. This is the western window of China.”Mao’s words were spot-on, both metaphorically and geographically. In the 1960s, Pakistan acted as China’s diplomatic window with the West. Pakistan also played a role in normalising the Sino-US relations in 1971. Today, through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Mao’s words are literally coming true.Zhen Geng Biao later became China’s defence minister and later deputy prime minister. He played an important role in building Sino-Pakistani strategic relations. On the other hand, Pakistan’s then prime minister, Ali Bogra, and Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who later became the prime minister, played important roles.Sadly, the people of Pakistan, especially its youth, are not aware of the history and the depth of Pak-China relations. Some pro-Western Pakistanis even question China’s goodwill towards a strong Pakistan.Despite tensions in international politics and a change of leadership, relations between the two countries have survived because they are based on strong foundations and national interests.For the past five decades, Pakistan has strongly supported China’s unity and regional integration. They did their best to support the Chinese legitimate position in the UN. And Pakistan has resisted the criticism of China on human rights and its attempts to downplay its socio-economic achievements.On the other hand, Beijing has continued to extend comprehensive cooperation to Pakistan. Between 2001-21, the Taliban attacks and the Baloch Insurgent Movements cost Pakistan hundreds of billions of dollars. This has shattered Pakistan’s economy. China is working to back up the economy.In 1965, China deployed troops along the disputed India border to prevent India from deploying troops. China has built other manufacturing infrastructure in Pakistan, including a heavy construction complex in Taxila. Besides, it has also helped with financial assistance based on grants.China has supplied ballistic missiles to Pakistan despite the US pressure and sanctions. They have also helped develop Pakistan’s current missile capability system.China is the only country interested in selling civilian nuclear reactors to Pakistan. They have even blocked India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.For almost three decades, China has always opened its doors to Pakistan whenever it acquires new weapons. China has shown only interest in jointly building state-of-the-art military fighter jets and other weapons with Pakistan. As China’s economy has improved, it has repeatedly extended a hand of financial assistance to Pakistan. China and Pakistan have tanks, warplanes, missiles, sophisticated weapons, which will work together at the critical juncture when China-Pakistan becomes the superpower.As China’s economy has improved, it has repeatedly extended a hand of financial assistance (loans, bank deposits, grants) to Pakistan. They have come forward in times of Pakistan’s emergency.As part of the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China has decided to finance the implementation of Pakistan’s CPEC. All roads and bridges are being upgraded and built for free.After all, while India is threatening to isolate Pakistan through world media and diplomatic propaganda and threatening ‘surgical strikes’ and ‘limited war’, while the United States is blaming Pakistan for its failure in Afghanistan and pressuring it to adhere to its policy, China is in the Security Council in favour of Pakistan and They influence all capitals, through which they are protecting Pakistan from various international pressures and negative measures.In the drama that is now unfolding in Asia, the relationship between South Asia and its neighbours depends on Sino-US, Sino-Indian and Pakistan-India relations.The US has declared China as its rival in its latest national security document. Former US President Donald Trump has expressed frustration over China’s “failure” to deter or punish North Korea and reduce the Sino-US trade deficit. Biden Administration’s focus is also shifting towards China in the case of countering China. A trade decision against China has been started. Moreover, the Pentagon has a position on freedom of movement in the South China Sea. The US wants to build relations with its neighbours to deal with China.China is easing tensions with disputed countries over maritime boundaries to add fuel to the US campaign. They are even trying to bridge the gap with Asia’s two main rivals—India and Japan. For example, in the case of Danglong (Doklama), the withdrawal of Indian troops was suppressed by China to protect India’s face. They also approved the UN list of terrorists at the BRICS conference.Of course, Beijing does not want the inclusion of India in the anti-China US alliance. Perhaps, their strategic diplomacy will work on complex strategic decisions. Yes, it was clear that Trump and his generals were moving towards open military and strategic confrontation against China. Now, Biden is going to start this. India has already joined QUAD with the US, Japan and Australia. India sees itself as a natural rival to China. He wants to gain power like China. They still remember the defeat of 1962. Moreover, their border issue with China has not been resolved yet. Naturally, a strong, anti-Muslim Modi’s Delhi see the anti-China as a foe, “democratic” America as a “natural ally.”In this situation, Pakistan has no choice but to further strengthen its strategic relationship with China. The only option is to bow down to the Indo-American kingdom.Despite the long and cordial partnership, Pakistan and China need to take urgent decisions to deepen and strengthen their relationship. These include cracking down militant groups such as ETIM, which pose a threat to China’s security; eliminating external threats to the implementation of the CPEC, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan; implementing the CPEC project efficiently; assisting China in modernising Pakistan’s economy and trying to bring back peace to end the Indo-Pakistani conflict—to stand together against this threat, rapidly modernise Pakistan’s military and maintain the PLA’s strategic engagement with them.Naturally, China and Pakistan hope that America’s current all-encompassing expansion will stop and more responsible politics will be practised—perhaps in the Biden era. Until that day comes, Pakistan and China will have to keep their western windows open. The writer is a Dhaka-based activist, researcher and freelance columnist with a particular interest in international issues.