Beijing: The J-10 fighter jets of the Chinese air force will participate in Pakistan’s National Day parade on March 23, state-media reported Monday. The J-10 fighter jets of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s Bayi Aerobatic Team arrived in Pakistan on Saturday in preparation for a flight performance there, Global Times reported. Contingents from countries including China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will participate in the parade, with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad being the guest of honour, the report said.
Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of International Relations, told the daily that China sending fighter jets to celebrate Pakistan Day is symbolic of the friendship between the two countries noting that Pakistan is an “all-weather friend” of China.
Recently China announced plans to upgrade the JF-17 fighter jet being jointly produced by both the countries. In addition to the J-10’s flight performance, Chinese analysts expect more Chinese elements at Pak Day parade as the country operates many Chinese weapons. The Pakistan Air Force also operates the ZDK-03 early warning aircraft, which is developed by China and is reportedly capable of aerial detection and sharing real time battlefield information.
The MBT-2000 main battle tank developed by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) is designated the Al-Khalid in the Pakistan Army, the report said. Pakistan also operates the likes of China’s HJ-8 anti-tank missile and FM-90 air defence missile, according to China Military Online. Hu noted that China has contributed to Pakistan’s military development, as China has been helping the country with its national defence industry for decades. China is likely to have more joint development projects and arms sales to Pakistan in the future, the Global Times report said.