BEIJING : There is no military alliance between China and Pakistan, but China’s arms exports to Pakistan are a powerful weapon to safeguard the South Asian country’s military sovereignty, says a report published in the Chinese official daily, the Global Times on Saturday.
Pakistan has been shunning the US in favor of Chinese high-technology weapons, the Financial Times reported earlier this week. Since 2010, US arms exports to Pakistan plummeted from $1 billion to just $21 million last year, according to the report, while China has become Pakistan’s most consistent supplier of military hardware.
It is Pakistan’s full right to choose who to buy from in the global arms market, which has long been dominated by the US.
Washington always imposes conditions such as political criteria and strategic arrangement for its economic aid.
Military assistance works the same way. One of the US’ principles in arms exports is targeting turbulent regions and supporting its allies in those areas through defense exports to maximize US national interests.
According to Reuters, the US said January it was suspending at least $900 million in security assistance to Pakistan until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network militant groups. With its military assistance, the US aims to force Pakistan to act according to a scenario written by Washington. Onerous conditions imposed with military aid and arms exports to a certain degree harm Pakistan’s military sovereignty.
It is normal to see Pakistan making efforts to diversify the sources of its arms imports. That’s where China comes in. Although China’s overall strength in military technology still lags behind that of the US, the country’s defense products have emerged in the world’s arms market with a high performance-to-price ratio.
China’s rising profile in this field gives options to arms importers like Pakistan, breaking the Western hegemony in military sales.
As for China’s arms exports, the government has always taken a prudent and responsible attitude to carry out strict management in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and Chinese laws.
China’s arms exports will be conductive to enhancing recipient countries’ capability of legitimate self-defense.
The Chinese government imposes no political conditions in the arms trade. Beijing doesn’t allow its arms exports to disturb regional peace, but it also has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of the recipient countries. What lies behind the increasing interest of Pakistan in working with China in arms trade is its intention of safeguarding the country’s military sovereignty.
China’s arms exports to Pakistan will not lead to a military alliance; instead, they will strengthen the South Asian country’s military sovereignty, the report added.