Bajwa meets Chinese
officials, discusses
training, technology
and counterterrorism

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa led a top-level delegation of his country’s armed forces in talks with senior Chinese military officials on Sunday, said an official statement circulated by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The Pakistani tri-service military delegation landed in China on Thursday to hold wide-ranging discussions with senior officials of Chinese military and other government departments on Thursday.
The two countries are close allies who have always cherished close defense and strategic relationship. They have also been working on a multibillion-dollar economic corridor project to ensure infrastructure development in Pakistan along with greater regional connectivity.

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa meets Central Military Commission of China Vice Chairman General Zhang Youxia. 

“Apex Meeting was held on 12 June wherein Pakistani side was headed by Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa while Chinese side was led by General Zhang Youxia Vice Chairman Central Military Commission of China,” the ISPR said in its statement. “Both sides discussed their perspectives on international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defense cooperation between the two countries.”
The statement added that officials of the two countries reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging geopolitical times while agreeing 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,” said the statement.
Pakistan and China have in the past also expressed concern over the problem of militancy in the region.
More recently, Chinese nationals working on various projects in Pakistan have been targeted by Baloch separatist groups.
The two countries have also been closely collaborating in the economic field. Pakistan has also sought financial assistance from Beijing amid a yawning current account deficit and dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
 Both sides, the statement said, discussed their perspectives on the international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction with the defence cooperation between the two countries.

A senior tri service military delegation of Pakistan met Chinese military and govt officials. — Photo: ISPR

“Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest,” the ISPR said, adding that both sides further vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at the tri-service level.

Earlier this week, Chinese chargé d’affaires Pang Chunxue and Pakistani leaders met at the 7th CPEC Media Forum in Islamabad and warned of growing threats to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from fake news and disinformation about the mega-development project and emphasised the need for cooperation in countering it.

CPEC has been widely projected in Pakistan as a game-changer that would influence the region’s geo-strategic, geo-economic and geopolitical dynamics; and as an answer to its infrastructure shortcomings.

But, at the same time, media reports spread scepticism about it by pointing to the possibility of Pakistan falling into China’s debt trap, the alleged absence of transparency in the projects, and the environmental impact of the projects, especially coal-based power plants.

In that gathering, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, in his keynote speech, underscored the importance of CPEC, saying it was the country’s best bet for becoming the region’s geo-economic hub, but regretted that it had been “a victim of the malicious disinformation campaign” carried out by the “detractors” of CPEC and China.

Pang also spoke of the seriousness of this challenge. “False propaganda and disinformation on CPEC are on the rise. Hostile forces are trying to undermine the development of CPEC, as well as the unity and mutual trust between the two countries,” she maintained.