China, Pakistan discuss military financing

Oct. 16, 2009 at 11:24 AM
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LAHORE, Pakistan, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Pakistan has proposed the creation of a financing firm to help build more joint defense ventures that focus on Chinese investment in Pakistan.

A Pakistan-China Holding Co. is needed to increase defense cooperation, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani told media after meeting with the heads of major Chinese defense firms.

The meeting included China's missile technology firm Poly Technologies as well as Aviation Industries Corp. of China, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., China Electronics Technology Group and China North Industry Corp., according to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

Gilani, on his first visit to China as prime minister, said the Chinese government wanted to make Pakistan self-reliant in defense, the report by the government-run APP noted. Discussions included cooperation in production of JF-17 Thunder fighter, Al-Khalid tank, F-22 frigates and airborne warning and control systems.

The design of the Pakistani-made Al-Khalid tank is based on the Chinese Type 90-II that combines technologies from several Soviet-era and Western tanks and is basically a descendant of the widely produced Soviet T-54. The Al-Khalid is designed to use a variety of foreign engines and transmissions to make manufacture and vehicle supply versatile.

The JF-17 Thunder, known in China as the Chengdu FC-1 Xiaolong, is a light-weight multirole combat aircraft jointly developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corp. of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. Its maiden test flight was in China in 2003 and the first two small-batch production aircraft were delivered to the Pakistan Air Force in March 2007. Pakistani production is to begin later this year.

The proposal for a holding company was brought up with the president of the China International Capital Corp., the APP report said, although it is not clear who raised the subject and how much detail was touched upon.

Gilani also said that China wants greater cooperation for building the capacity of Pakistan's security forces that have rendered enormous sacrifices while combating terrorism. "We are fighting this war not only for our security but for world peace," said Gilani.

Chen Qiufa, administrator of China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said that China fully supported Pakistan's efforts in the war against terror. China would provide equipment and related assistance to enable

Pakistan's security forces to combat terrorism effectively.

In a later meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told the Gilani that China understood and supported the Pakistani government's security strategies.

China was willing to boost cooperation in finance, hydro-electricity, education, culture, railway, road transport and the fishing industry. For his part, Gilani reiterated that Pakistan supports China on issues relating to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, a report by the national Chinese news agency Xinhua said.

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