Amid tension with India, China-Pakistan signs a new military deal
China and Pakistan are looking forward to strengthen their ‘Iron Brotherhood’ and ‘All-Weather’ friendship. As part of this effort, the two countries signed a new military deal on Monday.
Chinese State media reported that Gen Wei has called on both countries to “push the military-to-military relationship to a higher level, so as to jointly cope with various risks and challenges, firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security interests of the two countries and safeguard the regional peace and stability.”
China’s Defense Minister and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Wei Fengh visited Islamabad to meet the Pakistani leadership and top army officials, and later went to the Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi before signing the Memorandum of Understanding. The details of the MoU are immediately available; however, the experts believe it is a continuation of the efforts that have been taken over the last few years to strengthen the defense cooperation between the two countries.
Last year, these two countries signed another military agreement while the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission (CMC) was visiting Rawalpindi to discuss defense cooperation and capacity building of the Pakistani armed forces.
On Monday, while the defense deal was being signed, the Chinese and Pakistani Air Forces started their joint exercise codenamed ‘Shaheen-VIII’. This drill is the eighth in a series of exercises that take place alternatively in each other’s country to improve training standards of the forces.
Gen. Wei has also discussed the multi-billion-dollar projects that are being developed under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) deal, where the military of both countries are assuming an increasingly significant role. This project will connect various Chinese trade routes to the Gwadar port in Pakistan.
On Tuesday, Gen. Wei met with Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the future of the mutual cooperation. According to the Chinese state media report, following the meeting with Gen. Wei, Pakistani President Arif Alvi reassured that they firmly support China’s stand on issues related to the South China Sea, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and others. He said, “We hope that the two countries will further strengthen cooperation in the construction of the CPEC as well as the defense and security fields.” Prime Minister Imran Khan said, they are committed to raise the iron-clad Pakistan-China brotherhood to a new height.