A Kautilyan Friendship: Pakistan, China and the Kautilyan case for the CPEC


  • Calvin Nixon


CPEC, Pakistan, China, Kautilya, Arthashastra, Alliances, Friendship, Global IR


Since the beginning of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the People´s Republic of China, the relationship has been a matter of debate. Especially the motto of a so-called all-weather friendship has made people ask how such an intimate relationship could develop between an Islamic Republic and a Communist one-party state. This paper aims to answer this question by looking at the case of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), using a Kautilyan perspective, emphasizing the concept of mitra from the Arthashastra. Therefore, I will use a non-Western approach to International Relations (IR), indigenous to South Asia. Consequently, this paper contributes to the growing trends of Global IR and decentering IR. It subsequently argues that by using the PRC as a mitra, Pakistan aims to strengthen its own capabilities. Hence, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor must be viewed as a visualization of a Kautilyan influence on Pakistan.