Pakistan-China relations have grown and strengthened over time, reaching new levels of economic cooperation and military cooperation. While it has always provided military assistance to Pakistan, cooperation has increased in recent years. A delegation from Pakistan comprising senior military officials from all three services visited China from June 9 to 12 as part of the meeting of the Pakistan China Joint Military Cooperation Committee (PCJMCC). According to ISPR, “Both sides discussed their perspectives on the international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defense cooperation between the two countries”.
The Pakistani Air Force has received Chinese J-10CE fighter jets, which will play an important role in correcting the region’s “security imbalance”. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, true friends and iron brothers who share good times and bad. China is looking forward to collaborating with Pakistan to accelerate the establishment of a closer China-Pakistan community of shared destiny in the new era. High-level visits, joint training and exercises, anti-epidemic cooperation and equipment technology produced fruitful results for the two militaries, enhancing the significance of bilateral strategic cooperation.
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Pakistan’s ground formation relies heavily on its air force
Pakistan has worked on several joint projects with China to achieve its goals, including the joint development of the JF-17 Thunder aircraft and a bespoke training aircraft for the Pakistani Air Force based on China’s local Hongdu L-15. The Chinese have designed numerous modern weapons for Pakistan such as the AL Khalid tanks and the AWACS system, allowing Pakistan to have one of the most powerful militaries in South Asia. The Pakistan Army has received its first shipment of Chinese-made VT-4 main battle tanks.
The VT-4 tanks were built by Norinco, a Chinese state defense manufacturer. After Thailand and Nigeria, Pakistan is the third country to acquire VT-4 tanks. “The VT-4 is compatible with any modern tank in the world,” according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), “incorporating advanced armor protection, maneuverability, firepower capabilities, and cutting-edge technology.” The army plans to use these third-generation tanks “in an offensive role by attack formations”.Furthermore, the two countries not only exchanged weapons but also scheduled joint exercises for their respective troops. Such a training camp was recently established at Sipahi Camp in Jaglot (Azad Kashmir) to train Pakistani army soldiers in high-altitude warfare.
China is the largest investor in the Gwadar Sea Port, which is strategically important due to its location in the Strait of Hormuz. It is thought that this could be used as a launch pad for Chinese Navy submarines and warships. China is one of the landlocked countries that finds it difficult to access the sea for defense purposes, but thanks to Pakistan, it now has a direct route.
Many countries are concerned that this alliance will become a trap for Pakistan, but the reality is that China has repeatedly proven itself to be a reliable ally. Relations between the two countries go beyond the economy; Beijing has helped Pakistan in combating terrorism and restoring regional stability. This collaboration will only grow in the future.