China has supplied the latest versions of its J-10 multirole tactical fighter aircraft to Pakistan in an effort to improve the country’s air defence capabilities.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) hosted a ceremony last week to commemorate the addition of Chinese-made jets to its inventory. This agreement, according to analysts, will greatly strengthen Islamabad’s air defences and maritime security capabilities, as reported by Asia Times.
Pakistan, which received weapons support from the United States throughout the most of the Cold War, has begun to seek to China for assistance as Washington has begun to impose more limits. The sale of the fighter jets pulls China and Pakistan closer strategically, signalling a shift away from Islamabad’s previous reliance on the US.
As Pakistan’s access to weapons from the United States becomes more restricted, China has stepped in to fill the void by demonstrating weaponry to strengthen Islamabad’s conventional and nuclear arsenals.
While China has historically supplied Pakistan’s armed forces, the connection has become stronger in recent years, with Pakistan purchasing significant amounts of top-of-the-line Chinese export equipment. Pakistan is also in talks to purchase the Chinese HQ-9 system, which is a Chinese version of the Russian S-300 long-range SAM.
China is said to have provided Pakistan with missile components, warhead designs, and even highly enriched uranium as part of its nuclear weapons programme.