Pak-China relationship has always been in the limelight. The two Countries have always built a strong a cordial relation. According to reports China and Pakistan plan to jointly build a new generation of fighter aircraft and other weapons as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, the New York Times reported.
The report by Maria Abi-Habib in the New York Times is significant as it challenges China’s frequent assertions that the Belt and Road Initiative is a purely commercial venture with peaceful purposes. CPEC involves a highway from China to Pakistan’s Gwadar port, which would allow Beijing to bypass the Indian Ocean route for trade and shipment of imports and exports, both shortening transit time and also preventing China’s rivals from blocking supplies.
Providing details about the defence manufacturing proposal, the report claims the plan was created by the Pakistan Air Force and Chinese officials early this year. It envisages using a special economic zone built under CPEC to produce a new generation of fighter aircraft. The two countries are also expected to jointly build new radar systems and other weapons.
While it is not specify what kind of fighter aircraft China would build in Pakistan, Beijing is currently focusing on two stealth aircraft—the J-20 and J-31—and indigenous derivatives of the Russian Sukhoi SU-27 family as well as the single-engine J-10.