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'China willing to push forward all-weather ties with Pak'

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BEIJING (PTI): China on Thursday said it is willing to work with Pakistan to push forward their "all-weather" strategic partnership, as it highlighted the significance of its troops' participation in the 'Pakistan Day' parade for the first time.

The Chinese military, at a media briefing, on Thursday screened a video of the combined contingent of Chinese army, navy and air force personnel taking part in the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23.

"Hearing it 100 times is not as good as seeing it for once," China's Defence spokesman Col Wu Qian said ahead of the screening of the video, a rare gesture to showcase solidarity with Pakistan.

It was the first-time China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops took part in a parade in Pakistan.

Screening the video, Col Wu translated into Chinese the Urdu slogan of "China-Pak Dosti Zindabad" (Long live China-Pak friendship) raised by the PLA troops during the parade.

Saudi Special Force's contingents and Turkish Janissary Military Band also participated in the parade.

Elaborating the relations between the two countries following the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Wu said the bilateral military relations are signified by "three key words".

"In terms of friendship between Chinese and Pakistani armed forces, three key words are All-weather brotherly friendship, substantive mutual support and assistance and deep mutual strategic mutual trust," he said.

"We are willing to work together with Pakistan side to push forward continued development of China-Pakistan all weather strategic partnership," he said.

Wu, however, played down the recent write-ups in the state media that the PLA participation in the Pakistan parade is a first step for China's military toward safeguarding regional stability and world peace.

After the parade, Global Times quoted a "military source" as saying that the PLA's participation in the Islamabad military parade is another step for China's army to go abroad to safeguard regional stability and world peace.

Asked to elaborate on Chinese military playing a role in regional stability, especially in the context of India-Pakistan military tensions, Wu said China is willing to conduct exchanges and cooperation in defence field with various countries to strengthen mutual trust.

"Also we have an active participant in regional and international security affairs. We are a staunch force in maintaining world and regional peace and stability," he said and referred to Chinese navy's anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Besides joint anti-piracy training with the Pakistan Navy, Wu said China also worked with the Indian Navy in the region to escort ships.

"In regional counter terrorism, China has conducted joint exercises and training with both Pakistan and India, so as to improve the joint capabilities of relevant countries in maintaining regional peace and stability under the new situation," he said.

He declined to comment on Global Times report after the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's recent visit that China plans to step up missile cooperation with Pakistan, including ballistic and cruise missiles, besides joint mass production of a multi-role combat aircraft.


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