China-Pakistan Defence Relations forms the backbone of bilateral relations between Islamabad and Beijing. China is the biggest investor in Pakistan at present and has pledged $60B for CPEC Project and has now offered high-end drones to Pakistan to counter the S-400 Indo-Russian Deal.
- Can India Control Pakistan’s Airspace with Russian S-400 Missile Defence Systems?
- Pakistan Army Guarantees CPEC Security: General Bajwa to China
High End Drones for Pakistan
China will sell 48 high-end military drones to its “all-weather ally” Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind between the two countries, official media in Beijing reported today.
Wing Loong II, a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aircraft system, is manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will also be jointly manufactured, China’s state-run Global Times reported.
China, an “all-weather ally” of Islamabad, is the largest supplier of weapon system to the Pakistan Army. Both the countries also jointly manufacture JF-Thunder a single engine multi-role combat aircraft.
The announcement by China to permit the sale of high-end military drones comes in the immediate backdrop of India’s move to acquire the sophisticated S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. The deal was clinched during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi last week.
Earlier, Khan chaired a high-level meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and discussed his maiden tour to China next month during which matters related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to be discussed, the Express Tribune reaported.
The meeting was also attended by Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umer, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed.
China is an all-weather ally of Pakistan. The two countries launched the controversy-hit USD 50 billion CPEC in 2015 under which a network of roads, railways and energy projects, linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, has been planned.
Khan, chairing a cabinet meeting of the Balochistan province during his first visit to the restive province as the prime minister on Saturday, said that Pakistan was reviewing the projects under the CPEC to safeguard the interest of the Baloch people, who say the projects were not beneficial for them.
Khan in the past had criticised former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for the lack of transparency and corruption in the CPEC projects. Last month during his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Khan had said that the Pakistan government was committed to the implementation of the CPEC projects.
Wang had also conveyed the desire of the Chinese leadership to work with the new government of Khan for further enhancing the strategic partnership between Pakistan and China.