China and Pakistan are set to stage a joint air force exercise from Saturday, a Chinese military spokesperson reportedly announced Saturday.
"Shaheen (Eagle)-5," the fifth such drill between the two countries, will take place from April 9 to April 30, China’s Air Force spokesperson Shen Jinke said, according to Xinhua. The two countries, which call each other “all-weather friends,” share a mutual wariness of India, a common neighbor.
Pakistan, whose air force depends on a fleet of mostly outdated U.S., French and Chinese fighter jets, has been working along with China to develop an indigenous fighter jet, known as the JF-17.
On Thursday, Pakistan Air Force's second-in-command, Muhammad Ashfaque Arain, said the bulk of the burden of the Country’s air force was now borne by a fleet of the U.S. made F-16 aircraft.
According to Shen, joint military exercises between Chinese and Pakistani air forces in recent years had effectively deepened cooperation between the two militaries.
Shen also told Xinhua that the Chinese air force is willing to further expand exchanges and cooperation with the rest of the world and join hands with international peers to handle challenges and crises.
China signed deals worth about $2 billion with Pakistan this week during a visit by state official to Pakistan.