BEIJING: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for greater cooperation between defence industries of Pakistan and China as an important step to fortify the all-weather strategic partnership between the two countries.
He said this in a meeting with Chen Qiufa, Administrator of China’s State Administration for Science, Technology & Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) who led a delegation of Chinese defence-related companies.
Gilani said Pakistan attached great importance to its ties with China and wanted to further expand and promote cooperation particularly in defence production. He said collaboration in defence production would develop a mutual understanding and trust.
Pakistan was interested in production of defence-related equipment and setting up local overhauling facilities and invited Chinese companies to invest for joint ventures.
Chen Qiufa, who is also the deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Informatization, deliberated on various areas of defence collaborations and called for reviewing the mechanism of Joint Committee on Defence Technology Cooperation.
Later talking to APP, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said the meeting reviewed the progress of ongoing defence-related projects between the two countries.
He said Pakistan has close and extensive partnership with China in defence, space technology and peaceful cooperation in nuclear industry.
He said the Chinese government wants to make Pakistan self-reliant in the field of defence, adding that the meeting also discussed progress of cooperation in JF-17 Thunder Project, Al Khalid tank, F-22 frigates, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), aircraft and naval ships.
Other topics that came under discussion included establishment of more working groups under the joint committee to study and find out strategic fields for cooperation, and joint projects in aviation industry, shipbuilding and technology industry.
The companies that comprised the delegation included China’s Poly Technologies - a defence manufacturing company dealing with missile technology, Aviation Industries Corporation of China (AVIC), China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), China Electronics Technology Group (CETC) and China North Industry Corporation (NORINCO).—APP
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