China looking to expand military cooperation with Pakistan in new fields

China’s defense minister told Pakistan’s navy chief on Monday that both countries’ military, especially their navies, should “expand into new fields of cooperation” to improve their capabilities to protect regional security.

Relationships between the two military date back many years, and their navies and air services regularly conduct bilateral drills on each other’s soil.

During his visit to Beijing, Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Amjad Khan Niazi was informed by China’s Minister of Defence Li Shangfu that the two nations’ military cooperation was an important aspect of their bilateral relations.

A statement on China’s Ministry of National Defense website said, “The two militaries should expand into new areas of exchanges, create new high points of cooperation to continuously enhance their ability to deal with all sorts of risks and challenges, and jointly maintain the security interests of the two countries and of the region.”

General Zhang said during a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, “Chinese military is willing to work with the Pakistani military to further deepen and expand practical cooperation, continuously push the mil-to-mil relationship to a higher level, and jointly safeguard the common interests of the two countries, as well as the regional peace and stability.”

He emphasized that China constantly prioritizes Pakistan in its neighborhood diplomacy and firmly supports Pakistan in preserving its sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests, and national dignity, regardless of how the international environment evolves.

Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang visited Pakistan for the first time and spoke with political and military figures while there.

In his discussion with COAS Munir, Qin Gang emphasized the value of the long-standing strategic alliance between the two brotherly countries. He also conveyed his happiness with the CPEC’s advancements and reaffirmed China’s commitment to seeing them through on schedule.