China wants ‘new fields’ of military cooperation with Pakistan

China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu told Pakistan’s Navy Chief Amjad Khan Niazi on Monday that their militaries, including their navies, should “expand into new fields of cooperation” to strengthen the two neighbors’ capability in ensuring regional security, Pakistan media reported.

The two militaries have long had ties, with their navies and air forces conducting bilateral exercises on each other’s soil.

According to Geo News, Shangfu told Niazi, who was visiting Beijing, that the military relationship between the two countries was an important part of bilateral ties.

“The two militaries should expand into new areas of exchanges, create new high points of cooperation to continuously enhance their ability to deal with all sorts of risks and challenges, and jointly maintain the security interests of the two countries and of the region,” said Li, according to a statement on the website of China’s Ministry of National Defense.

According to Geo News, Niazi’s visit comes after Zhang Youxia, Vice-Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, stated in late April that the Chinese military is willing to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

“Chinese military is willing to work with the Pakistani military to further deepen and expand practical cooperation, continuously push mil-to-mil relationship to a higher level, and jointly safeguard the common interests of the two countries, as well as the regional peace and stability,” General Zhang made the remarks while meeting with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Asim Munir.

By Brendan Byrne

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