China Completes Warship Deliveries to Pakistan as Navy Alliance Grows

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has delivered two frigates to Pakistan’s navy, finishing a four-warship deal inked in 2018, Chinese language media reported, amid deepening navy cooperation between the 2 nations in one of many world’s most complicated geopolitical areas.

The vessels – two Kind 054A frigates – can be used to safeguard the seas of the China-Pakistan financial hall (CPEC), state-backed Chinese language newspaper International Instances reported late on Wednesday.

CPEC is an formidable infrastructure mission that hyperlinks Xinjiang in west China to Pakistan aimed toward providing an alternate transportation route sooner or later for items together with gasoline. A part of the community is Pakistan’s Gwadar port, situated on a key waterway within the Arabian Sea.

Financial and navy ties between the 2 neighbours have deepened in opposition to a shifting geopolitical backdrop, evident from Pakistan’s rising navy procurement from China and joint navy workouts to safeguard belongings and commerce routes. For China, Pakistan and its entry to the Arabian Sea is essential within the occasion of a maritime blockade within the Strait of Malacca.

China delivered the primary batch of six J-10 fighter jets to Pakistan in March final 12 months. Eight Hangor Class submarines that Pakistan ordered from China are anticipated to be delivered earlier than 2028.

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Earlier this week, China’s defence minister advised Pakistan’s navy chief that their militaries, together with their navies, ought to “increase into new fields of cooperation” to bolster their functionality in safeguarding regional safety.

“The prospects for cooperation between the 2 sides, in my view, is getting stronger and stronger,” Music Zhongping, a navy commentator with Phoenix TV, advised Reuters.

In South Asia, China’s ties with India, with whom Pakistan has frosty relations, have deteriorated lately, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops in close by Afghanistan has raised geopolitical uncertainty within the area, pushing China and Pakistan to hunt a stronger alliance.

“Sustaining the peace and stability of South Asia suits with each international locations’ precise pursuits,” Music mentioned.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Ryan Woo; Enhancing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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