China and Pakistan have had a friendly relationship for some time. The friendly relationship extends beyond diplomacy, and include both business and military cooperation. The two nations even have a partnership to produce the J-17 multi-role fighter aircraft in Pakistan. Of note, the underlying design for the aircraft comes from the Chengdu – Grumman Super 7 project that dates back to 1990 (Grumman cancelled the project, but China continued development).
The two countries have also held a number of joint military exercises over the last decade or two, including four joint air force training drills, with the latest exercise just getting underway this last Sunday.
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Although it has not been officially confirmed, several sources have claimed that Pakistan plans to acquire a number of China’s newer J-10 multi role fighter.
Fu Qianshao, an aviation expert with PLA air force told Chinese state media recently that the first overseas buyer of the J-10 will likely be Pakistan.
Details on September 2015 China – Pakistan military exercise
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force spokesman noted in a press conference on Sunday that the Chinese and Pakistani air forces had started a joint military training exercise in China. The “Shaheen-IV” military drill, which means “eagle” in Urdu, is the fourth such exercise undertaken by the two neighbors.
The specific location of the joint air force drill was not provided. PLA Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke continued to say, “The Chinese Air Force is ready to expand the scope and domains of cooperation with the air forces of countries around the globe to jointly address various challenges and crises.”
He also pointed out that Chinese and Pakistani air forces have participated in a number of joint training and military exchanges in recent years. In describing the China – Pakistani air force drill, Shen said the two countries set up mock war games between the “Red Force” and “Blue Force”. Of interest, the drill involved Chinese Air Force aircraft including fighter jets, fighter bombers and early warning planes, and Pakistan included fighter jets and early warning planes.
In a statement, Professor of Pakistan Studies at Peking University Wang Ju noted the exercise was announced amid great transparency and confidence as bilateral political trust was clearly maturing. “We can learn a lot from Pakistan’s training philosophy and system, and as the pressure to fight terrorism mounts in north-western China, such drills could boost China’s capacity to tackle tough situations.”
Wang also said that as Pakistan moves on to become a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the “Shaheen” joint military exercise series could provide a useful new model for boosting anti-terror cooperation among members of the group.
The Chinese Ministry of National Defense also released the design of a shoulder patch prepared for the drill on its website on Sunday. The shoulder patch includes elements and colors from the flags of both nations.
Of interest, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Pakistani military leaders on a visit to Islamabad earlier this spring that China and Pakistan should improve military cooperation through additional joint exercises and training.
Pakistan sent large contingent to China’s recent end of WW II military parade
Pakistan sent its head of state, President Mamnoon Hussain, and a 75-member military team to part in the massive military parade held in Beijing last week to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory in WW II.
As reported by ValueWalk, 30 heads of state in total attended China’s big military parade and commemoration on September 3rd. Leaders in attendance included Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Myanmar President Thein Sein, and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.
Around half of ASEAN member countries sent their top-level political representatives to china’s big party. Other AEAN attendees not mentioned above include Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
Of note, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore all chose to sent lower-level representatives to the event. Keep in mind that China is embroiled in territorial disputes with four other countries in the South China Sea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the World War II commemoration parade. North Korea sent Choe Ryong-hae, the secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party, to represent Kim Jong-un at the event.