China-Pakistan defense partnership strengthened further

Under the very tense geopolitics over-all, where the tensions between China and the West deepen, Pakistan’s high level military delegation visited China on 09-12 June 2022.

A high-powered Pakistani delegation comprising senior military officials from all three services – army, navy and air force – visited China from June 9 to 12 as part of the meeting of Pakistan China Joint Military Cooperation Committee (PCJMCC), which has an apex committee. Pakistan’s army chief and vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission are part of the committee. The committee has two sub committees that include joint cooperation Military Affairs (JCMA) and Joint Cooperation Military Equipment & training (JCMET).

High-level interaction between the two brotherly countries is a matter of routine, and in past have met so many times, but, this visit carries high importance as the geopolitics are passing through very critical stage. The high-level military interaction between the two countries came at a critical juncture when tensions are deepening between China and the United Sates.

Earlier this week, the US and Chinese defense ministers held a face to face meeting in Singapore on the sidelines of a regional security dialogue but the two sides exchanged barbs over many issues including Taiwan and Russia-Ukraine conflict. It has heighten the tensions further.

Pakistan has also faced significant pressure from the West to change its stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict. Islamabad has so far walked a tightrope even after the change of government. As a matter of fact, West wanted Pakistan to isolate from China and cut off close ties. The irony is that, it is the West, who kept distance from Pakistan since 2004, and almost has written-off completely, and also do not want to see China as a close and strategic friend of Pakistan.

A statement issued by military’s media wing, the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), on Sunday said the tri-service delegation held wide ranging discussions with senior officials of Chinese military and other government departments.

The apex committee meeting was held on June 12 wherein Pakistani side was headed by army chief General Bajwa while Chinese side was led by General Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman Central Military Commission of China.

Both sides discussed their perspectives on international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defense cooperation between the two countries, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations. It is tradition of both sides to meet often and create harmony on all hot issues. Both Armies are synchronized and opts collective strategies to deal with all regional and international concerns.

It further said that Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at tri service level. Pakistan now heavily relies on China for military equipment. Only recently China provided Pakistan with J-10 fighter jets. Pakistan is the only country to have been provided the war planes since their induction into the Chinese military showing deepening military ties between the two sides. China has an obvious edge over technology and modern weaponry systems and Pakistan meets its defense requirements from China, as the West has already restricted Pakistan from access to their hi-tech and modern weaponry systems.

Experts believe military diplomacy and military to military cooperation has assumed greater significance in view of the rapidly emerging confrontation in the geopolitics.

The current Pakistan army chief is the only military leader who has honor to visited China on the special invitation of the Chinese President Xi Jin Ping, who is also the Secretary-General of CPC and Chairman of Military Commission of China. .

The traditional friendship and Relations between Pakistan and China have shown great improvement in recent years in all dimensions including defense.

Pakistan now heavily relies on China for military equipment. Only recently China provided Pakistan with J-10 fighter jets. Pakistan is the only country to have been provided the war planes since their induction into the Chinese military showing deepening military ties between the two sides.

Although there exists a huge pressure on Pakistan, but, it has to protect its national interests and will keep close strategic partnership with China. It is worth mentioning that during the cold war era, when the US and its allies were over-engaged in countering communism threat, Pakistan was in American club, but, keeping close relations China. Pakistan always kept alliance with China, without disrupting its relations with the West. But, in recent years, the West is pressurizing Pakistan to leave China in its campaign to contain China. Pakistan desires to maintain good relations with all nations, and could not sacrifice its dependable strategic partner on the demand of any other country. Pakistan has paid high price for its friendship with the US for a long time and realized to transform its balance policy with all nations.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.