China, Pakistan to further boost military cooperation

2017-03-17 01:53:23 GMT2017-03-17 09:53:23(Beijing Time) Global Times

The military cooperation between China and Pakistan will be further enhanced especially in weapons and anti-terrorism sectors, experts noted after a meeting between two senior military officers of the two countries on Thursday.

The "all-weather" strategic partnership has withstood changes in the international community, said Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission of China, during a meeting with Qamar Javed Bajwa in Beijing, according to the website of the Ministry of National Defense. General Bajwa was appointed as Pakistani Army Chief in November 2016.

The talks will consolidate and deepen military exchanges between China and Pakistan, while new cooperation on military techniques might also be discussed, Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the Second Artillery Corps (now known as the PLA Rocket Force), told the Global Times.

Weapon exchanges, including the mass production of FC-1 Xiaolong, a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the two countries, will be furthered after the meeting, said Song.

China's authorization to Pakistan to produce ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles and main battle tanks in Pakistan is also on the agenda, he added.

The two sides also vowed on Thursday to ensure the safety of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an important part of China's Belt and Road initiative.

Masood Khalid, Pakistani Ambassador to China, said at a news conference on Tuesday that Pakistan has deployed more than 15,000 troops to protect the CPEC, and the country's navy has raised a contingent for the protection of Gwadar Port.

Proposed in 2013 by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the 3,000-kilometer CPEC links Kashgar in Northwest China's XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's Gwadar Port.

As Pakistan faces frequent threats from terrorist forces such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda, military support is necessary to ensure a safe environment for the regions where there is huge investment from China, said Song.

The two countries agreed to enhance anti-terrorism cooperation at the meeting, vowing to resolutely strike against terrorist forces including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

Pakistan's military is willing to deepen the cooperation with the Chinese army and fully support the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism in Counter Terrorism by Afghanistan-China-Pakistan-Tajikistan Armed Forces, said Bajwa.

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