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Pak Army chief on 1st visit to China, meets top leaders

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

China's top leadership has assured Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa that they completely understood the geo-political, economic and security situation in the region and its implications for the two "all- weather" friends, the Army said today.

The assurance was given to Gen. Bajwa as he senior Chinese leaders and the military leadership on his maiden visit to where he discussed a range of issues, including defence cooperation, regional security situation and the ambitious China-Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.

"COAS arrived in on a 3-day official visit. Meets Chinese senior political & military leadership. Pak-friendship is unique with no parallel," Ghafoor tweeted.

Bajwa called on Chinese Executive Vice Zhang Gaoli, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Gen Fan Changlong, Chief of Joint Services Department, Gen Fang Fenghui and Commander of the People's Liberation Army Gen Li Zhuocheng and discussed topics like regional security, economy defence cooperation and other issues of mutual interest.

"The Chinese leadership expressed complete understanding of the geo-political and economic-cum-security environment of the region and its implications for both the countries," a statement issued by the Pakistani military said.

"They acknowledged the positive role being played by Pakistan towards peace and stability in the region with special mention of Pakistan's role in eliminating terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from Pakistan," it said.

The ETIM is an Islamic extremist separatist organisation founded by Uyghur jihadists in western It has training camps in Pakistan and has been pressing Islamabad to destroy the units operating in the country, posing a threat to the stability of China's restive region of Xinjiang.

During the meetings, the Chinese leadership also expressed their concern on the security situation in Afghanistan and the growing potential threat of Islamic State and ETIM in that country, the statement said.

"The Chinese leadership expressed their confidence in security arrangements for the USD 46 billion and satisfaction on progress made on the project, it said.

During the meeting between Vice Zhang and Gen Bajwa, the two sides agreed to advance the project, China's state run Xinhua agency reported.

Zhang lauded the rapid development of China-Pakistan ties, saying bilateral cooperation not only benefits the two peoples, but also contributes to regional peace and stability.

He called on the two sides to maintain close high-level contact and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs, to lift bilateral ties to new heights.

Zhang also suggested that the two countries should enhance defence and security cooperation and push forward the building of the in an orderly manner, the report said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 16 2017. 20:08 IST