Rawalpindi/Beijing, Mar 17: China has acknowledged Islamabad for maintaining peace and stability in the region with special mention of its role in eliminating terrorist groups including the al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
This came as Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is presently in Beijing on a three-day official visit, held meetings with senior Chinese officials to discuss regional security, economy, defence cooperation and mutual interest.
"Today COAS held meetings at Beijing with Mr Zhang Gaoli Executive Vice Premier, General Fan Changlong Vice Chairman Central Military Commission, General Fang Funghui, Chief of Joint Services Department and General Li Zuocheng Commander People's Liberation Army (PLA). Matters related to regional security, economy, defence cooperation and mutual interest were discussed," the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Thursday.
The visit includes the Army Chief's interactions with the Chinese senior political and military leadership, the statement added.
The statement said that the Chinese leadership expressed complete understanding of the geo-political and economic-cum security environment of the region and its implications for both countries. The Chinese leadership also expressed their concern on the Afghan security situation and growing potential threat of ISIS in Afghanistan. They, however, expressing confidence in security arrangements for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and satisfaction on progress of the project.
On his part, the Army Chief reiterated that Pakistan Army shall continue to positively contribute towards regional stability and security. General Bajwa thanked the Chinese leadership for sending PLA Army contingent for participation in Pakistan Day Parade. Both sides agreed to continue and further increase their military to military cooperation.
Following Thursday's meeting, some Chinese experts noted that the military cooperation between both sides will be further enhanced especially in weapons and anti-terrorism sectors. "The talks will consolidate and deepen military exchanges between China and Pakistan, while new cooperation on military techniques might also be discussed," the Global Times quoted Song Zhongping, a military expert, as saying.
Weapon exchanges, including the mass production of FC-1 Xiaolong, a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the two countries, will be furthered after the meeting, said Song. China's authorization to Pakistan to produce ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles and main battle tanks in Pakistan is also on the agenda, he added.
China lauds Pakistan for eliminating terrorist groups; offers weapons