China boosting Pakistan’s military arsenal, gives licences for major weapons

While China has long supplied weapons to Pakistan’s armed forces, the relationship has deepened in recent years, with Pakistan making major purchases of top-of-the-line Chinese export equipment.

Islamabad: With Pakistan facing more sanctions for obtaining weapons from the US, China has filled the vacuum by proving weapons to boost Islamabad’s conventional and nuclear arsenal.

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While China has long supplied weapons to Pakistan’s armed forces, the relationship has deepened in recent years, with Pakistan making major purchases of top-of-the-line Chinese export equipment, according to the National Interest.

“China has sold or licensed to Pakistan the following five weapons program a) Nuclear Weapons Program, b) JF-17 Fighter A-100 c) Multiple Rocket Launcher, d) VT-1A and e) HQ-16,” writes Charlie Gao an analyst in the National Interest.

One of the major aspects that Pakistan has focused on military acquisition from China has been on acquiring the necessary Air Defence for its Ground Forces.

Pakistan military has relied primarily on its Air Force for providing the defence of its formation on the ground.

Further, Pakistan is also in negotiations to buy the longer-ranged Chinese HQ-9 system, a Chinese analogue to the Russian S-300 long-range SAM, according to the National Interest.

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Earlier, Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons were boosted by China to develop the necessary military deterrent against India starting from the early 1980s which happens to be the highlight of the China-Pakistan nexus.

China provided significant assistance to the Pakistani nuclear weapons program and is alleged to have provided missile components, warhead designs, and even highly-enriched uranium to counter India’s great power ambitions, according to the National Interest.

It’s alleged that China was able to develop Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons facing circumventing the Nuclear Supplier Group’s norms.

On the other hand, Pakistan which received weapons assistance from the US for the most part of the Cold War has started to look to Beijing for weapons assistance as Washington has started to place more restrictions.

Further, India had also taken exception to the US assisting Pakistan with weapons programs once the Indo-US strategic partnership had started to develop with the end of the Cold War.

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It’s believed that the Pakistan military arsenal could be used to build up pressure against India across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir when things heat up with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

first published:Dec. 1, 2021, 2:51 p.m.

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