A Chinese General, Gen Zhang Youxia, has had talks with Pakistan Army chief, Gen Asim Munir, about expanding cooperation and maintaining regional peace and stability. The Chinese General raised the issue of setting up military outposts in Pakistan to protect China’s investments in the region. Gen Munir assured the Chinese military that Chinese nationals, projects and investments in Pakistan would be secure. Both military commanders agreed on mutual understanding and security cooperation. Gen Zhang stressed that China and Pakistan are strategic cooperative partners and will always support Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests and national dignity.
Gen Munir is visiting China to enhance the long-standing relations between the two militaries. His visit comes ahead of Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s two-day visit to India. Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif was expected to take part in the eight-member SCO grouping consisting of China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Gen Munir told Gen Zhang that the friendship between Pakistan and China is “higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, and sweeter than honey.” He said that the Pakistani side is willing to strengthen strategic communication, practical exchanges and counter-terrorism cooperation with the Chinese military. However, there are growing concerns over Pakistan’s never-ending economic crisis often putting pressure on Beijing to bail out Islamabad from bankruptcy by providing US dollar loans to help it maintain foreign exchange reserves.