Military partnership with China takes toll on Pakistan's debt-ridden budget

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 24, 2020, 08:37 PM(IST)

File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Another agreement was signed to overhaul Pakistan's main battle tank. Reports say Pakistan may also get the Chinese JH-7 jets to boost air power.

The China-Pakistan defence partnership has everything covered. This partnership covers weapons, training, and intelligence sharing.

The United States had cut off military funding to Pakistan but, China has now swooped in with weapons and tactics.

An attempt to make sure that Pakistan remains a security challenge for India. Pakistan surviving on loans from its allies, former allies and the IMF.

Pakistan is also military with a country, where decisions are taken from Rawalpindi and not Islamabad.

So, while Imran Khan has made tall claims on austerity, Pakistan's military hasn’t seen any major cuts to its budget. In fact, in 2019, they bought arms in large quantities from China. 

In July, China agreed to supply four attack drones to Pakistan. In December 2019, they struck a deal to supply 236 Howitzer guns.  They signed a contract worth $512 million.

Another agreement was signed to overhaul Pakistan's main battle tank. Reports say Pakistan may also get the Chinese JH-7 jets to boost air power.

By a large margin, China is now the chief supplier of weapons to Pakistan. From 2015 to 2019, 73 per cent of Pakistan's arms came from China.

All other suppliers --- have a single-digit share and Chinese military support is not just limited to arms.  The P.L.A. Is also training with Pakistan's soldiers.

In January, the navies of China and Pakistan conducted a nine-day mega naval exercise. It was called “sea guardians 2020”. The drills were carried out in the northern Arabian sea.

A month before that, the warrior seven joint military drills was held in Pakistan. In August 2019, the air forces conducted the Shaheen eight military exercise.

It happened in the Chinese city of Holton, which is close to the Indian border near Ladakh.

Last year, both sides decided to take their relationship to the next level. Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Beijing.

He met with Xu Qiliang, the vice-chairman of the central military commission, which is China’s top military body.

China and Pakistan are now sharing military intelligence too. Recently, a Pakistani general was invited to attend a highly restricted meeting of the central military commission. This was an effort to enhance cooperation on Afghanistan.

China’s military support to Pakistan is expanding in all directions.  From selling firepower to sharing intelligence, the dragon is building another defence force on India's western border.

As Pakistan turns into a colony for China, the country's army is being readied as a surrogate fighting force for Beijing.

Read in App