China and Pakistan to Deepen Military Cooperation; Eye Joint Production of Weapons
China and Pakistan have vowed to step up their military cooperation for increasing regional stability and enhance the security of their strategic assets in the region. The decision was made during a meeting between Pakistan's newly appointed Army Chief 'General Qamar Javed Bajwa' and Chief of the Joint Staff Department 'General Fang Fenghui' in Beijing.
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According to state owned tabloid The Global Times, China and Pakistan have agreed on mass production of FC-1 Xiaolong, which is a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by both countries. Besides, both countries discussed about jointly producing ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles and main battle tanks.
Beijing and Islamabad relation have been historically very strong, with military relation forming the cornerstone of their bilateral relationship. Traditionally, Beijing has been an important military supplier to Islamabad that has helped in maintaining strategic balance in South Asia, a region where their mutual rival India is ruthlessly dominant.
Meanwhile, Bajwa and Fang also held discussions on the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship infrastructure project funded by the Chinese government. Earlier this week, it was reported that China will drastically increase the number of Marine Corps to protect its overseas strategic assets including the CPEC in Pakistan.
The two arm officials also agreed to enhance their anti-terrorism measures to quell down the growing threat of international terrorist organizations, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) that is highly active in China's Muslim-dominated province of Xinjiang.
China squarely blames ETIM for the recent surge in violence in Xinjiang region, where Uyghur Muslims has been fighting low-intensity war for many years now.