The Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s Chief of Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman, met with China’s Minister of Defence General Chang Wanquan in Beijing.
This is ACM Sohail Aman’s second high-profile meeting in his current visit to China, the first occurring at the Zhuhai Air Show with the commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), General Ma Xiaotian.
The Associated Press of Pakistan reported that ACM Aman and General Wanquan committed to taking “bilateral relations between the two countries to further heights.”
Notes & Comments:
As with many high-level official meetings, specific acquisitions are not necessarily on the docket, though it is an appropriate setting to issue proposals. Besides armaments, the PAF has systemic interests in the PLAAF and the Chinese defence industry. In terms of the former, both sides are making a conscious effort to enhance bilateral training initiatives, especially through regularly scheduled air exercises (i.e. Shaheen).
China has also been instrumental in establishing Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)’s capacity to engage in aviation manufacturing, which PAC is now committing towards the JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter program. The PAF could be hoping to expand this collaboration into research and development, especially in regards to the Kamra Aviation City initiative, which is being established to serve a centerpiece role in the PAF’s next-generation fighter program.