China’s air force on Saturday began joint training exercises with that of Pakistan, China’s defense ministry said, as the two nations’ militaries strengthen operational ties.
The countries call each other “all-weather friends”, with ties underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbor, India, and a desire to hedge against U.S. influence in Asia.
“China’s Air Force hopes to widen the scope of cooperation and dialogue with all countries and regions,” the Chinese defense ministry said in a statement on its website, adding that the exercise, called “Shaheen V,” would run until April 30.
China has long urged Pakistan to weed out what it says are militants from its far western region of Xinjiang who have holed up in lawless ethnic Pashtun areas on Pakistan’s Afghan border, home to a mix of groups, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Read More