China uses Pakistan to smuggle defense equipment to Myanmar


March 13, 2022 12:47 STI

Naypyidaw [Myanmar] March 13 (ANI): Pakistan’s military partnership with Myanmar changes after the military coup in the Southeast Asian country poses a serious threat to regional security.
According to sources, the Myanmar army plans to buy 60mm and 81mm mortars, M-79 grenade launchers and heavy machine guns from Pakistan. India’s eastern neighbor is also considering buying air-to-surface missiles from Pakistan.
In 2018, the Myanmar Armed Forces purchased 16 JF-17 Thunder multi-role aircraft from Pakistan for $560 million. The aircraft is co-developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chinese Chengdu Aerospace Corporation.
According to the sources, the deal was facilitated by Dr. Naing Htut Aung, a major arms supplier representing the International Gateways Group of Companies which has close ties to the military, including the current Chief General of the Min Aung Hlaing army.
Subsequently, in September last year, the unannounced 10-member high-level delegation from the Pakistani Defense Ministry, led by a brigadier, met with Myanmar’s Defense Minister and reportedly discussed the sale of upgraded JF-17 (Block III) aircraft and air-to-surface missiles.

Talks were also held on advanced ordinance technology, aircraft repair and naval ammunition.
In the context of the Pakistan-China alliance, the perception that China uses Pakistan to carry out maintenance of Chinese-origin equipment and also helps Pakistan’s defense industry become an avenue for Chinese defense sales gain territory.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), its report indicates that in 2019-2020, the total share of Chinese arms exports fell from 5.5 to 5.2 percent.
However, there is a strong opinion that Chinese exports are being redirected or under-declared.
A specific example is when a Chinese vessel bound for Pakistan was detained in 2020 by Indian authorities for carrying an autoclave, a dual-use technology, as an “industrial dryer”.
While Beijing has maintained an active dialogue with the Burmese junta, it has also indicated that it was not involved in the February 21 coup to boost its international image.
Using Pakistan as an intermediary without getting directly involved and minimizing the rise of anti-China sentiments in a post-pandemic scenario would allow China not only to export its military equipment without being noticed, but also to access markets which could possibly be opposed to China itself. (ANI)


Comments are closed.