Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir is scheduled to hold important meetings and consultations in a bid to enhance military-to-military cooperation between Islamabad and Beijing during his first maiden trip to China since taking office in November 2022.
Munir is currently in Beijing on a four-day trip.
In a statement, the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said that the COAS had a brief and progressive meeting with the Commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday, during which, matters of mutual interest and military-to-military cooperation were discussed.
“The COAS reviewed the smartly turned out contingent which was later followed by a detailed meeting with the Commander of PLA Army. Matters of mutual security interests and military cooperation were discussed.
“Both military commanders reiterated the need for maintaining peace and stability in the region and enhancing military to military cooperation,” the ISPR added.
As per details of the first day of the visit, Pakistan COAS was given a warm welcome and presented with the guard of honour at the PLA headquarters.
The army chief also witnessed a demonstration of the operational capabilities of the PLA troops.
According to the ISPR, the COAS will be holding important meetings during his stay in China with a major focus on enhancement of military ties.
The visit holds great importance, according to experts.
They said that in view of the changes and developments in the geo-strategic positioning of the region, especially in view of the Saudi-Iran relations, situation in Afghanistan, the security level threat faced by Pakistan and the important financial investments of China through its Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, and Pakistan’s deteriorated economic challenges.
Pakistan Army is the one ensuring security and safety of the Chinese projects under the CPEC in the country. In view of the same, the visit of Pakistan COAS to China holds pivotal relevance.
It is an established fact that China has come to Pakistan’s financial rescue often in the past.
However, with the IMF Extended Funding Facility (EFF) programme still pending clearance and approval, and the country’s reserves and external debts climbing up at fast pace; Pakistan finds itself against in a critical situation where it looks towards the US to use its influence and help revive the IMF plan, while on the other hand, US’s power rival China continues to inject financial lifelines to Pakistan.
Pakistan also gives massive importance to its ties with China and is believed to continue extending its security level and development level cooperation despite being under the hawk-eye of the western lobby.