Defending its sale of submarines and warships to Pakistan, China has said that even India is seeking military equipments from the US and Russia.
A top Chinese defence official, while acknowledging that proposal might invite concerns from India, said that it was normal for an independent country like Pakistan to acquire arms.
On Tuesday, the China Daily reported that Pakistan was seeking bigger warships from China besides submarines and had already acquired F22P frigates.
“The initiative may invite concerns from its neighbouring countries. But the doubts are unnecessary,” Zhai Dequan, deputy director of China Arms Control and Disarmament Association said.
Contending that India too has projects with the US and Russia, Zhai said that Pakistan’s proposal in submarine cooperation is likely aimed at its sea border protection.
“India’s aircraft carrier has already cost it billions of US dollars,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
On a visit to China, the chief of Pakistan’s naval staff Noman Bashir has said he looks forward to see more cooperation in the submarine field with Beijing.
He said that he had talked to Chinese officials over the issue of buying more JF-17 fighter planes and bigger ships than the F22P frigates, currently ordered by Pakistan.
Since 2005 Pakistan has ordered eight F22P frigates from China. “The F22P frigate is about 3,000 tons, and now we are talking about 4,000-ton ships,” Bashir said.