China has delivered two frigates to Pakistan’s navy, completing a four-warship deal inked in 2018, Chinese media reported, amid deepening military cooperation between the two nations in one of the world’s most complex geopolitical regions.
The vessels – two Type 054A frigates – will be used to safeguard the seas of the China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC), state-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times reported late on Wednesday.
CPEC is an ambitious infrastructure project that links Xinjiang in west China to Pakistan aimed at offering an alternative transportation route in the future for goods including gas. Part of the network is Pakistan’s Gwadar port, located on a key waterway in the Arabian Sea.
Economic and military ties between the two neighbours have deepened against a shifting geopolitical backdrop, evident from Pakistan’s increasing military procurement from China and joint military exercises to safeguard assets and trade routes