• Chinese Troops Marched in Pakistan Day Parade

Chinese Troops Marched in Pakistan Day Parade (Photo : Getty Images)

On Thursday, Chinese troops marched alongside Saudi and Turkish troops for the first time in the Pakistan Day parade held in capital Islamabad. The participation of Chinese troops in the event symbolizes the deepening China-Pakistan ties.

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Chinese troops marched with their arms past Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the chief of Pakistan's powerful military, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The parade was followed by Pakistan’s display of long-range rockets.

Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain called the march a “historic event” for it was the first time Chinese troops joined a parade in a foreign country. China and Pakistan are starting to build great infrastructure together.

Saudi Arabian soldiers and Turkish military band also participated in the parade. Saudi Arabia has been a long-time ally of Pakistan. Turkey, in the recent years, has boosted its ties with nuclear-armed Pakistan.

China is considered as an “all-weather friend” by Islamabad. The two countries have grown closer in the recent years with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CPEC is a network of road, rail and pipelines that will connect western China with Gwadar, Pakistan’s Arabian Sea Port. The $57 billion project was funded by Beijing.

Chinese officials had appealed to Pakistan to exert more effort in increasing security to help CPEC function. Pakistani military response has helped boost cooperation between the militaries of the two countries in the past few years.

Beijing has also pushed Islamabad for some time to do more to restrict Islamic militants. According to China, the militants are connected with extremists and separatists in the country’s obstreperous far western region of Xinjiang.

The United States also has strategic ties with Pakistan. However, the relationship sometimes seems transactional as Washington intermittently discontinue the financial support for the Pakistani military to punish it for its unsuccessful efforts to stop Islamic militants destabilizing the region.

China-Pakistan ties continue to deepen as both countries increase military and economic cooperation. The presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan Day parade testifies of this.