In an era of fast-changing challenges, close military cooperation among friendly countries is the need of the time. The military cooperation between Pakistan and China serves as the backbone for a longstanding strategic mutual partnership.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in 2012, Chinese national development has entered a new era. In the last ten years, under the great leadership of CPC, the Chinese people have fulfilled the first centenary goal and embarked on a new journey to achieve the second centenary goal, continuing to strive toward the great goal of national rejuvenation. In this context, China keeps strengthening its relationship with her neighboring countries. Pakistan, as a unique all-weather strategic cooperative partner of China, has always been a top priority of China’s neighborhood diplomacy.
On April 20, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the four-star generals of Pakistan Armed Forces in Islamabad, during his visit to Pakistan. President Xi noted that Pakistan’s military, serving as the backbone of the China-Pakistan friendship, has played a long-term and important role in the development of bilateral relations. He also emphasized that under the new circumstances, the understanding and support of Pakistan’s military was necessary for the two countries to forge a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future. It was a remarkable event and historic point in the development of military relationship between the two countries. The close and sincere bilateral cooperation in various fields of the two armed forces entered a new stage.
Pakistan, as a unique all-weather strategic cooperative partner of China, has always been a top priority of China’s neighborhood diplomacy.
In the field of high-level visits and exchanges, the two sides kept frequent contact in the recent years. In the year 2018 and 2019, General Zhang Youxia and General Xu Qiliang, both Vice Chairmen of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), made successful visits to Pakistan, respectively. In 2020, General Wei Fenghe, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, visited Pakistan in spite of the COVID pandemic. In 2021, General Li Zuocheng, Chief of the Joint Staff Department of Chinese CMC, held a bilateral meeting with General Nadeem Raza, Pakistani Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, during the Joint Military Anti-Terrorist Command and Staff Exercise, Peace Mission-2021, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Russia. In June 2022, General Zhang Youxia met with the visiting Pakistan's Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in Qingdao. During this meeting, General Zhang said that facing with the changes unseen in a century and the global pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping has put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which provides China's solutions to promote the establishment of a more equitable and reasonable global governance system. He noted that China and Pakistan have kept close coordination and firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests. General Bajwa remarked that 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.
Chinese and Pakistani militaries stand ready to expand practical cooperation in various fields to a new level and inject new impetus into the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.
In the recent years, the military equipment and technology cooperation between the two countries is also developing fast. In the year 2021 and 2022 alone, Pakistan Armed Forces’ induction of VT-4 MBT, HQ-9/P HIMADS, and 054 A/P Frigate has been widely reported by the media. On March 23, 2022, VT-4 MBT and J-10CE fighter jets appeared in the annual national parade held in Islamabad to celebrate Pakistan Day. It was universally acknowledged that Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) induction of J-10CE fighter has set a new milestone in the practical cooperation between China and Pakistan. Commenting on this event, the spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense emphasized that under the guidance of leaders of the two countries, the Chinese and Pakistani militaries stand ready to expand practical cooperation in various fields to a new level and inject new impetus into the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which provides China's solutions to promote the establishment of a more equitable and reasonable global governance system.
The cooperation in the field of joint exercises and mutual training has also been strengthened. The Army’s Warrior Exercises, Air Force’s Shaheen Exercises and Navy’s Sea Guardians Exercises are becoming increasingly institutionalized, and the Aman multinational maritime exercises also provide an important platform for Pakistan and China to carry out multilateral military cooperation. In the joint fight against the COVID pandemic, the two militaries also had very close cooperation. With the joint efforts of the two governments and armed forces, Pakistan became the first country to receive vaccine assistance from the Chinese government and military. Pakistan Army also helped all Chinese nationals in Pakistan to be fully vaccinated, writing a new chapter of Pakistan-China friendship.
In the face of the complex and volatile regional security situation and challenges, both China and Pakistan Armed Forces are confident and determined to work together as iron brothers to tackle the threat and resolutely fight against all hostile elements that are trying to undermine Pakistan-China cooperation. Both sides will stand side by side to strongly defend Pakistan-China friendship, benefit the two peoples, and jointly safeguard regional security and stability.
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