|Girish Shetti |||Mar 24, 2017 07:02 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images. ) The Chinese soldiers were joined by the armies of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with whom the South Asian country equally shares a very close relationship.
Chinese soldiers for the first time participated in the Pakistani military parade on the important occasion of Pakistan Day on Thursday. This once again marks the Asian giant's robust military ties with Islamabad, its closest ally in the South Asian region.
The Chinese soldiers were joined by the armies of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with whom the South Asian country equally shares a very close relationship.
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Earlier in the day, Pakistan flaunted its long-range rockets, tanks, and other advanced military hardware in front of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, who was also present at the occasion, appreciated the presence of Chinese troops and described their participation as a "historical event" for both countries.
Over the years, China has replaced the U.S. as Islamabad's largest military supplier. The latter's deteriorating relationship with the U.S. has helped Beijing to get more prominence in Pakistan's military affairs. This was clearly reflected during Pakistan's army chief Mr. Bajwa's visit to China last week.
Bajwa met his Chinese counterpart and signed an agreement to jointly produce several military hardware including the FC-1 Xiaolong, a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft. Both countries have already signed an agreement to produce other advanced hardware such as JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, K-8 Karakorum advance training aircraft.
Beijing's close link with its South Asian ally is not only marked by military cooperation. It is one of Pakistan's largest trading partner and also one of the largest investors in the country. The massive China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was partly inaugurated last year, is being completely by funded the Chinese government.
Analyst's claim that the two countries have been forced to forge a strategic relationship due to their mutual rivalry with India.
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