BEIJING: China and Pakistan on Thursday pledged to strengthen their military ties and step up defense cooperation to a "new level" during a meeting between Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and top Chinese military officials in Beijing.
"China and Pakistan pledged to strengthen military ties and bring existing cooperation to a new level", Xinhua news agency reported after General Kayani's meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Gen Liang Guanglie.
"China values its traditional friendship with Pakistan," Liang said, adding that Beijing hopes to develop "pragmatic and effective cooperation with Pakistan in national defense arena. He said bilateral "all-weather friendship" held between China and Pakistan is a strategic choice and is in accordance with fundamental interests of both nations. China hopes to safeguard regional peace and stability with Pakistan and contribute to the security and development of two countries, he added.
General Kayani said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relationship with China, adding that both countries have extensive common interests in both international and regional affairs, Xinhua said.
Earlier Pakistan Army Chief held talks with Gen Ma Xiaotian, deputy Chief of Staff of People's Liberation Army (PLA). They exchanged views on regional security and military relations between two countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing in Beijing today.
Ma told Kayani that China and Pakistan have established all-weather friendship over a long period of time. The two militaries have conducted all dimensional, wide ranging multi tiered exchanges, Hong said.
The two sides have cooperation in defense security consultation, military drills, personal training, college exchanges, equipment construction as well as non traditional security, Hong said. China would like to enhance strategic communication with Pakistan side and consolidate the foundation so as to advance bilateral relations, he stated.
Pakistan and China also indulged in combined counter terrorism training for their special forces late last year.