The Chinese military has staged a massive wargame exercise near Pakistan in response to a build-up of U.S. troops in the region as a top Chinese government official warned that any threat to Pakistan would be taken as a direct threat to China.
Citing a report by China’s Central Television, Junshijia reports that an unnamed government official warned, “Any threat to Pakistan is a threat to China,” in response to increasing hostility directed towards Pakistan by both the US and NATO in the aftermath of a NATO bombing that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers last week.Pakistan responded to the airstrike by sealing its border with
Afghanistan, preventing supplies from reaching the US-occupied country.
According to the report, the United States is massing troops on Pakistan’s border in an act of aggression that China sees as a direct threat to its close alliance with the country. In response, China recently sent large numbers of Second Artillery PLA troops armed with sophisticated DF-21C and short-range DF-11A tactical missiles to China’s northwestern plateau near Pakistan for a huge military exercise designed to reflect China’s “attitude towards the US threat to Pakistan.”
The drill ran from the 14-27 of November and included Pakistani troops. It was also reported by numerous other Chinese news sources (1-2-3).
The report strongly emphasizes the Chinese position that its alliance with Pakistan represents a “brotherhood,” and that “China will never be in peace if Pakistan is lost.”
“Militarily, China will be conducting massive and heavy equipment desert warfare in Pakistan on the 16th,” states the translated report. “America has always desired Pakistan, especially in recent years. As the U.S. war in Afghanistan deepens, and military actions against Iran’s determination become stronger, (the threat of ) confrontation with China increases, Pakistan is the place for America to gain military advantage strategically and geographically.”
As we reported earlier, while China’s official rhetoric in English language media regarding hostilities towards the likes of Pakistan and Iran has taken on a concerned tone, discussions taking place inside China itself are a great deal more bellicose.
In response to increased western hostility towards Iran, Chinese Major General Zhang Zhaozhong remarked that “China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war,” comments that have provoked much debate in China.
The subject of Iran is also discussed in the Chinese media report. A western-led military assault on Iran is strongly discouraged, a point China also hoped to stress by way of a show of force in its recent wargames. China’s ambassador to the UN has warned IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano not to create “unfounded” evidence to justify a military attack on Iran in the name of halting its controversial nuclear program.