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China seeks to strengthen security ties with Pakistan

Beijing reaffirmed its strategic partnership with Islamabad and agreed to strengthen defense cooperation

Chinese and Pakistani officials agreed to increase cooperation in combating terrorism and other security issues, deepening their alliance amid efforts by “external forces” divide the two countries.

“Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in these difficult times and agreed to continue the regular exchange of views on issues of mutual concern,” Islamabad army said in a statement on Sunday. The countries also pledged to strengthen their ties in training, technology and the fight against terrorism.

The deal follows talks during a four-day visit to Beijing by a Pakistani military delegation, led by army chief of staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Their Chinese hosts were led by General Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission.

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The delegations discussed their views on international and regional security. Beijing has reportedly called on Bajwa to end attacks in the Balochistan region against Chinese nationals working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a collection of infrastructure projects valued at more than $60 billion.

US officials have repeatedly criticized CPEC, saying it would burden Pakistan with high-cost Chinese loans. Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said last week that CPEC was the target of a “malicious disinformation campaign” and that the move was Pakistan’s best opportunity to address its security issues. infrastructure and to become a regional geo-economic centre.

China’s top diplomat in Pakistan, Pang Chunxue, said earlier this month that the CPEC was threatened by a “The Cold War Mentality.”

“Hostile forces are trying to undermine the development of CPEC as well as the unity and mutual trust between the two countries,” she told reporters in Islamabad.

READ MORE: ‘Something rotten in the state of Pakistan’: How Islamabad’s position is shaping the region

Baloch insurgents have reportedly targeted CPEC projects, including gas pipelines and electricity transmission towers, as they view China as an imperialist power seeking to plunder the province’s natural resources.


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