Army chief discusses CPEC security with Chinese counterpart

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Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif during a two-day official visit to Beijing met his Chinese counterpart and discussed matters pertaining to security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on Monday, Radio Pakistan reported.

COAS presented guard of honour. ─ ISPR
COAS presented guard of honour. ─ ISPR

The army chief, who is slated to meet senior military and political leadership in China, also touched upon intelligence sharing with his counterpart.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa said measures to further improve military to military cooperation, exponentially enhanced training exchanges and defence technology were discussed during the meeting.

Upon his arrival, the army chief was presented a guard of honour. Gen Raheel Sharif also congratulated his counterpart on the assumption of command of the newly established army headquarters, Bajwa said.

The visit comes a day after a Pentagon report says China is likely to consider establishing additional naval logistics hubs in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, “such as Pakistan”.

In annual report to Congress on “Military and Security Developments in China”, the US Department of Defence claimed that China is looking for countries that have “a precedent for hosting foreign militaries”.

But the report also noted that “China’s overseas naval logistics aspiration may be constrained by the willingness of countries to support a (Chinese military) presence in one of their ports.”

The report pointed out that Pakistan remains China’s “primary customer” for conventional weapons and China engages in both arms sales and defence industrial cooperation with Pakistan.

The Pentagon report also highlights tensions between China and India as a cause of concern. “Tensions remain along disputed portions of the Sino-Indian border, where both sides patrol with armed forces,” it warns.

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