• 19 April, 2024
Geopolitics & National Security

Militaries of Pakistan & China agree to step up defence and anti-terrorism cooperation amidst ‘challenging times’

Mon, 13 Jun 2022   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Islamabad/Beijing, Jun 13 (PTI) China and Pakistan have agreed to step up their defence and counter-terrorism cooperation amidst “challenging times”, as Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa held wide-ranging talks with the Chinese military leadership to further cement their all-weather strategic partnership.

Gen Bajwa, accompanied by top Pakistani defence officials, held talks with the Chinese team led by Vice Chairman Central Military Commission General Zhang Youxia in Qingdao, the capital city of east China’s Shandong province on Sunday. The tri-service military delegation of Pakistan visited China from June 9 to 12 where it held wide-ranging discussions with senior officials of the Chinese military and other government departments, according to a statement by the Pakistan Army.

The Apex Meeting was held on Sunday where the Pakistani side was headed by Gen Bajwa, while the Chinese side was led by General Zhang. “Both sides discussed their perspectives on the international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defence cooperation between the two countries,” according to the statement.

“Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue the regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at the tri-service level,” it added. “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners,” said Gen Zhang, noting that over the years, both sides have kept close coordination and firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests.

In the meeting, both sides strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the shuttle van of the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi in Pakistan in April and stressed that any attempt to undermine the China-Pakistan friendship is doomed to fail, the Chinese military said in a statement. Three Chinese teachers were killed when an explosion triggered by a burqa-clad woman suicide bomber from the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) ripped through a van of the Confucius Institute at the prestigious University of Karachi on April 26.

The separatist BLA said it opposes Chinese investment in Pakistan’s resource-rich Balochistan province, saying locals do not benefit. The BLA has targeted Chinese nationals on a number of occasions, as has the Pakistani Taliban. China is heavily involved in large infrastructure projects across Pakistan, including in the Balochistan province.

During the talks, Gen. Zhang said China is willing to strengthen communication, reinforce cooperation, deepen pragmatic exchanges with Pakistan, and properly deal with the complicated factors in the regional situation, so as to push the military-to-military relations for further development. Gen Bajwa said that the Pakistan-China friendship is unbreakable and rock-solid. Pakistan will stand firmly with China at any time, no matter how the international and regional situation changes.

He stressed that Pakistan is ready to enhance dialogue and coordination with the Chinese military, carry out mutually beneficial cooperation, crack down on the terrorist forces, strive to improve the capabilities of both sides in dealing with various security challenges, safeguard the common interests of two countries, and make contributions to regional peace.

The visit was part of the Pak-China Joint Military Cooperation Committee (PCJMCC) – its apex committee is the highest military cooperation body. The committee has two sub committees that include Joint Cooperation Military Affairs (JCMA) and Joint Cooperation Military Equipment & Training (JCMET). Relations between the two countries have grown steadily in all fields despite concerns by the West regarding China’s growing influence in the region.

Pakistan relies on China for military equipment and recently Beijing provided J-10 fighter jets to counterbalance the strategic edge India gained after buying Rafale jets from France. Their multifaceted cooperation has gained more importance in the context of fast-changing regional situations.

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Kalidan Singh

Jun 13, 2022
These two rogue states have much in common; a co-dependent relationship is ordained. Pakistan wants money, arms (for free), China wants a vassal state to circumvent potential blockades in the Malaga straits and the shallow waters of South China sea (where satellites can easily identify their subs). Both deal with dissent and minorities in comparable fashions. Both suffer from inordinate hubris and delusions of grandeur; both have notions about their power not substantiated in reality, both want to dominate because they think every one else either fears them already or should. China has a vastly superior economic model, Pakistan's economic model is foreign aid. China has far greater control over its population, Pakistan cannot even manage the TTP. Pakistan, guardian and custodian of all Islam, is quite sanguine about the Uighurs. Both are developing military assets and capabilities in POK; both want an unstable, weak, and ineffective India. My first concern is with the large segment of Indians who want the exact same thing as Pakistan and China, and advocate in favor of embracing them. They are silent about the Maoist insurgency in India, and have served as a consistent fifth column since 1947. Most are leftists. My second concern is with the overwhelming hubris in which we are engulfed, which does not recognize the operational, tactical, and strategic superiority of the PLA, nor does it acknowledge that despite all our bluster - we are not a deterrent to Pakistan (they do as they please, shell across the border, and send infiltrators daily). My third concern is with overwhelming reports that our boys at the border with Pakistan, and mostly China are without gear, without ammunition, without intelligence, without communication equipment - yet are willing to die for the nation. First hand descriptions report usage of clubs and stones. We owe these braves much much more, and not only words and hubris. China - once clear that it can do nothing in Taiwan - will focus its energies on India - and I am not sure whether we are adequately prepared. This treaty with Vietnam is a good thing. While I am skeptic about the QUAD, it might be the only option. Biden said he would intervene if China attacked Taiwan. If Biden were to say the same thing about China-India, it would represent progress.

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