Pakistan and China have signed an MoU for the enhancement of defence cooperation and capacity building of the Pakistani Army, as the top generals of the two armies discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
China’s Central Military Commission Vice-Chairman Xu Qiliang visited the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi with a high-level delegation on Monday and held a one-on-one meeting with Pakistan’s Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security, avenues to enhance bilateral defence collaboration, and particularly the situation in Kashmir were discussed, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan’s military said.
Bajwa appreciated its all-weather ally China’s understanding and support on all important issues particularly Kashmir.
The visiting general said China “greatly values its time tested relations with Pakistan and its Army and is looking forward to further solidify this relation”, according to the ISPR statement.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the two sides for enhancement of defence cooperation and capacity building of the Pakistan Army.
Later, General Xu called on Prime Minister Imran Khan who underlined the unique quality of the time-tested, Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, describing it as an anchor for peace and stability in the region and beyond.
“It was agreed that Pakistan and China would continue to closely consult and coordinate for the promotion of peace and stability in the region and maintenance of strategic balance,” the prime minister’s office said.
Khan also highlighted India’s actions on Kashmir and thanked China for supporting Pakistan’s approach to the UN Security Council.
General Xu conveyed cordial greetings of President Xi Jinping, as well as that of Premier Li Keqiang, and reaffirmation of China’s full support to Pakistan, particularly at this crucial juncture.
Underscoring the importance of the time-tested China-Pakistan strategic partnership, he conveyed the Chinese leadership’s commitment to the time-honoured tradition of both countries supporting each other on issues of core national interest.
He reiterated Beijing’s resolve to work for further strengthening China-Pakistan ties in a broad range of areas. Xu underlined that the South Asia region needed stability and economic development and resolution of outstanding disputes and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in advancing those goals.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had air-dashed to Beijing to discuss the Kashmir issue with the top Chinese leaders after India scrapped the Article 370.
It was China that had asked for “closed consultations” in the UN Security Council to discuss India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.