NEW DELHI: Over the past decade, Pakistan’s relations with ‘iron brother’ China have gone from strength to strength with Beijing. China is its main weapons supplier and also the preferred training partner for complex military exercises, including the use of modern technology for air battle.
The biggest weapons supplier to Pakistan was the US but China has far surpassed the US and the partnership is expected to increase in coming years. China has been supporting several major war games to sharpen Pakistan’s combat abilities with the newly-supplied weapons.
China has always called Pakistan as it’s ‘Iron Brother’ to express the close relationship between the two countries. The biggest purchasers of Chinese weapons is Pakistan followed by Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Pakistani military is increasingly inducting Chinese platforms in the sea, air and on land. In the last decade, China has supplied weapons worth over $6.4 billion to Pakistan. In the past decade, Pakistan has been China’s biggest export destination for arms.
Maintaining close relations with China is a central part of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Chinese cooperation with Pakistan has reached economic high points, with substantial Chinese investment in Pakistani infrastructural expansion including the Pakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Both countries have an ongoing free trade agreement.