BEIJING, Oct 22: Pakistan and China have agreed to boost cooperation to meet professional requirements of their armed forces.

There was a complete unanimity of views on strengthening military-to-military relations during the meeting held between Pakistan Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat and Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan.

Air Marshal Saadat, who is currently on a week-long visit to China, also had separate meetings with Liang Guanglie, Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and Gen Qiao Qingchen, Commander of PLA Air Force.

Defence sources told APP the two sides during the meetings reiterated their commitment to strengthen their bilateral relations at all levels, with greater strength and vigour.

They noted that development of fighter jet, JF17, a joint venture of the two countries, was an indication of their growing cooperation. They agreed to continue undertaking such joint projects in the aviation industry.

Cao Gangchuan, also vice-chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, said the relations between China and Pakistan had developed smoothly ever since the two countries forged their diplomatic relations 52 years ago.

The Sino-Pakistan friendship is not only in high-level exchanges but also strikes deep roots in the people of both countries, said Mr Cao, adding that China attached great importance to the traditional Sino-Pakistan friendly cooperation and would make joint efforts with Pakistan to continue the friendship.

Air Marshal Saadat expressed his conviction that the bilateral friendly cooperation would continue to be strengthened and developed.

Liang Guanglie, Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said during the meeting that the Chinese people and their armed forces had always regarded Pakistan as their sincere, reliable and trustworthy friend and brother, and that the Chinese side was willing to make joint efforts with Pakistan to go on advancing the army-to-army friendly and cooperative relations.

According to the sources, the visit was a part of regular contacts at the highest level between the Pakistan Air Force and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

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