China and Pakistan have inked a defense pact to counter the military agreement signed between India and the US.
During the Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe’s three day visit to Islamabad a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to enhance defence cooperation between the Pakistan Army and the People’s Liberation Army.
China Pakistan sign defence pact
The details of the pact between the allies have not yet been disclosed to the public. However, experts believe that it contains strategies that will include intelligence sharing, which will aid Pakistan in tracking the movements of Indian forces at the LoC.
The military diplomacy between the ‘iron brothers’ comes after the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation was signed by India and America on 27th October. This gave Indian armed forces access to abundant data from US military satellites.
Following this, it was also announced that the Pakistani and Chinese airforces will jointly conduct a large exercise called Shaheen IX. Previously, airforces of both the allies had held joint exercises namely, Shaheen IIIV, which lasted two weeks and involved 50 warplanes, including fighter jets and early warning aircraft, which participated in battle simulations. Shaheen IX is expected to be greater than its predecessor.
Senator Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, confirmed the MoU “will counter the onslaught of India backed by the U.S. and it will give more confidence to Pakistan that in its hour of need Beijing will stand with Pakistan.” He said that understanding draws Pakistan further into China’s orbit as their economies and security interests become more intertwined.
“The China-Pakistan agreement can be viewed as an effort to reduce some of the imbalance in strategic stability in the region prompted by the U.S.-India deal.” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center told Nikkei Asia. He further added, “The U.S.-India agreement will strengthen New Delhi’s military capacities to monitor Pakistan-based threats,”
But this might not be sufficient to place India and Pakistan on the equal footing. “America’s sophisticated, high-quality surveillance and intelligence-related technologies may be of greater quality than China’s,” said Kugelman.
Shaheen IX to commence amid a pandemic
A batch of Chinese fighter aircraft and troops left for Pakistan this morning, they will land at a Pakistan Airforce base near Karachi for the joint airforce exercises; Shaheen IX.
The commencement of Shaheen IX amid the pandemic reflects the commitment of both the allies and their profound friendship. The exercises focus on improving the comprehensive combat compatibility of the two militaries, Chinese experts said on Tuesday.
This will be the ninth time both militaries have held the ‘Shaheen’ joint exercises.
Speaking to the Global Times, a Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao, said that although this year’s joint training was being held later than the previous years, the fact that it was held shows deep friendship between Pakistan and China, and the importance they attach to military cooperation.
“The confrontations between India-Pakistan and China-India will not affect the normal military exchanges between China and Pakistan,” said Fu.
“India’s frequent military exercises with other countries have given it little reason to question normal military exchanges among other countries,” he added.