China said on Thursday that it will continue to provide assistance for economic and social development in Pakistan through trade, investment, and all-around practical cooperation, Radio Pakistan reported.
Speaking at a weekly briefing in Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Lu Kang said, “China and Pakistan are all-weather friends and strategic cooperative partners.”
Responding to a question about China’s offer to give Pakistan $2 billion in aid to support its foreign currency reserves, he said that “the two sides have always maintained close communications on relevant cooperation.”
On Wednesday, it was reported that China is building the first of four ‘most advanced’ naval frigates for Pakistan as part of a major bilateral arms deal to ensure ‘balance of power’ in the Indian Ocean.
The vessels, a version of China’s guided missile frigates, are equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and weapons system, the publication quoted defence contractor China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) as saying. The shipbuilder added that the ships would have anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-air armament.
The ships are of the Type 054AP class, meaning that it is based on the Type 054A of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the report quoted Pakistan Navy as saying.
Once constructed, the warship “will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy and strengthen the country’s capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace and stability and the balance of power in the Indian Ocean region,” the report said.