General promises security for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
The head of the Pakistani Army has suggested the country's military stands ready to help protect Chinese interests as the two sides continue to develop the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Qamar Javed Bajwa met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing, as part of his first trip to China.
Bajwa became Pakistan's new Army chief in late November.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesperson for the Pakistani military, said one of Bajwa's main priorities is to ensure the safety of projects being built along the corridors' route.
"Together with the security of the project with the Chinese, due to the security environment in Pakistan, we have raised a special security division exclusively for the security of the project where the Chinese are working."
Pakistan's military has deployed around 15,000 additional troops to protect the roughly 19,000 Chinese nationals currently working in Pakistan on different aspects of the economic corridor.
The massive project has been designed to create an economic and transport link from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in China's northwest, through the heart of Pakistan, and down to the Port of Gwadar, on the southwestern coast of Pakistan.
The program, worth 54 billion US dollars, includes more than 50 different infrastructure and energy projects backed by the Chinese government.
All of the projects are expected to be completed within the next five years.