China and Pakistan will hold joint airforce drill in September near PoK border

KChinese and Pakistani airforces will hold a joint drill from September 2-22 (IE photo)

The Chinese and Pakistani airforces will hold a joint exercise next week in a region bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The joint drill will be held during September 2-22 in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

The exercise, code-named Shaheen (Eagle)-2, is another cooperative project between the two air forces after the Shaheen-1 drill in Pakistan in March 2011, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a briefing for the local media.

The drill between the two close allies is being held ahead of an India-China military exercise planned for November.

That exercise, codenamed Hand-in-Hand, is scheduled to be held in China's Chengdu Military Command area from November 4 to 14.

India and China are expected to field about 150 troops each for the exercise, which is likely to focus on anti-terrorism manoeuvres.

Meanwhile, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli met with Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, today, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Deepening strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan is in the fundamental interests of both countries and is also the common aspiration of the two peoples, Zhang said.   

Acknowledging new progress in trade, agriculture, technology and energy, Zhang said the two governments' long-term plan for a China-Pakistan economic corridor has given new momentum to bilateral ties.

He said he hoped both sides will seize opportunities to turn the advantages of bilateral political relations into more fruitful cooperation.

Wynne said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with China and regards it as the bedrock of its foreign policy. Islamabad is willing to strengthen cooperation with Beihing, including military cooperation, to protect their common interests, he added.

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