British “Financial Times” January 12 article Original title: Western concern at close China- Pakistan military ties
When the Pakistani military used indigenous drones against an important stronghold of the Taliban in October last year for the first time, the West immediately began looking for clues in its ties with China. Experts said that it resembled the Chinese Rainbow -3 UAV.
In all the ten years that Pakistan became a key ally of Washington in the war against terrorism, the United States has refused to provide it armed unmanned aerial vehicles. But now the country has this technology. Pakistani officials denied that the country’s UAV project had received any Chinese contribution but the West remains skeptical, mainly because of the rapid development of bilateral military relations between the two countries.
Earlier this year, Pakistani officials confirmed an agreement with China for sale of eight submarines to Islamabad. This is the largest defense contract between the two countries. Analysts said that Pakistan exerts itself to increase dependence on China, making it the main supplier of military equipment, in part because the easy financial terms and partly because Pakistan expects Beijing to help it achieve faster modernization of military equipment.
China has become the icon of emerging arms exporters, as highlighted in a recent report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The report mentioned that Chinese arms exports increased by 143 percent over the past five years, and made it rhe third largest arms exporter. During this period, China’s biggest customer was Pakistan, which bought 41 percent of its arms exports.
“Jane’s Defense Weekly” editor, Peter Phil Stead, said: “Over the past 10 years, China’s capacity for independent production of military`platforms has greatly improved. Gone is the era of blind counterfeiting of Soviet-designed engine production is gone. Apart from aviation, the gap between China and the West has narrowed all round. Therefore, countries such as Pakistan purchasing Chinese equipment will certainly benefit ”
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute researcher, Reichert Peter Mann, said that Chinese military equipment suffers a disadvantage, compared with Western suppliers of equipment with a long history, lbecause it lacking a reality check, “It is understood that the onlu place where China’s equipment and other supplies are used is Pakistan.