Pakistan Gets Chinese Assurances and 50 Thunder Jets

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Context
China will immediately supply fifty JF-17 Thunder jets to Pakistan, a Pakistani official said on Wednesday. “We [Pakistan] will get these planes in weeks,” he told reporters, adding that an formal deal to that effect will possibly be signed Thursday. The official further said that China and Pakistan are already co-manufacturing the JF-17, but these fifty jets would be armed with more state-of-the-art avionics. According to him, the war jets will be fully funded by Beijing and will help enhance Islamabad’s defense and improve tactical capabilities of its air force.

Faced with mounting international criticism following the death of Osama Bin Laden on its soil, Pakistan was rescued by its old ally China, which announced “unswervingly” support for Islamabad’s anti-terrorism efforts. “Pakistan has made very important contribution to international counter terrorism cooperation as well as great sacrifices,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jiang Yu, as Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani commenced a trip to the country. “Indeed Pakistan is the victim of terrorism,” Yu added.

This is in addition to media reports in Pakistan’s media that China has warned: an attack on Pakistan would be considered an attack on China, and that this was conveyed to US during the recently concluded US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington. If these reports are correct, this would be the first time China has made such a linkage and it dramatically changes the geopolitics of the region and beyond. On the other hand, according to Western media sources the recent meetings between senior economic and military leaders of both countries were congenial. In the aftermath of US Osama Operation, PoliTact is monitoring the dynamics of China-US relations closely, especially as it relates to Pakistan.