More reports on: Defence production

Pak gets Chinese nod to produce weapons on large scale

17 March 2017

In unwelcome news for India, 'all-weather friends' China and Pakistan are set to not just increase weapons exchanges, but China is also expected to authorise Pakistan to produce ballistic, cruise, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and battle tanks, China's state-run media reported late yesterday.

The weapons exchanges include the mass production of the FC-1 Xiaolong, a lightweight multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the two countries, reported Global Times, run by the Chinese Communist Party.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation and strike terrorist forces including China's insurgent East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

These were the outcomes of Thursday's meeting in Beijing between Pakistan's army chief Qamar Bajwa and a top Chinese military official, Fang Fenghui. In return for Beijing's largesse, Islamabad agreed to ensure the safety of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

"Pakistan and China enjoy a special friendly relationship with each other and have a common destiny," Bajwa reportedly said at the meeting, according to a statement on the website of China's defence ministry.

Pakistan has deployed more than 15,000 troops to protect CPEC and the country's navy has raised a security contingent to protect the Gwadar Port, said Masood Khalid, Pakistan's Ambassador to China, at a news conference on Tuesday, according to Global Times. The Port is a key component of the CPEC project.

"As Pakistan faces frequent threats from terrorist forces such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda, military support is necessary to ensure a safe environment for the regions where there is huge investment from China," Song Zhongping, a military expert who has served in the Chinese army, told Global Times.

Bajwa is reported to have said the country's army is willing to "deepen the cooperation with the Chinese army and fully support the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism in Counter Terrorism by Afghanistan-China-Pakistan-Tajikistan Armed Forces".


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