Pakistani troops from the Special Services Group (SSG) march during a Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2017. Photo: AFP, Aamir Qureshi

Thursday marked the first time Chinese and Pakistani troops have marched together in a formal ceremony, as members of China’s army, navy and air force joined a parade in celebration of Pakistan’s separation from India.

As the Financial Times writes, the two countries growing military co-operation in recent years has seen China become Pakistan’s main supplier of military hardware at a time of cooling US-Pakistani relations.

China’s alliance with Pakistan seeks not only to balance India’s influence in the region, but also to support China’s planned US$50 billion worth of infrastructure investments in the country, part of China’s coveted One Belt, One Road initiative.

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