What A US Report Says

China is seeking to set up more robust logistics facilities in about a dozen countries, including Pakistan in India's neighbourhood, to allow the People's Liberation Army to project and sustain military power at greater distances, according to a Pentagon report.

Greater Interoperability

Pakistan is all set to use Chinese homegrown navigation system BeiDou for both military and civil purposes, ending their dependence on the US-based Global Positioning System, sources in Indian security establishments stated. As Pakistan is buying Chinese defence equipment, it would be shifting to and be fully integrated into BeiDou. Gradually, Pakistan Armed Forces will completely switch to the BeiDou navigation system for all its critical military platforms, the source said.

Veiled Threat

Quoting Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, an editorial published in the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times on June 17 said, "India has engaged in border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal at the same time. As Pakistan is a reliable strategic partner of China, and Nepal also has close ties with China, and both of them are key partners under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, if India escalates border tensions, it could face military pressure from two or even three fronts, which is far beyond India's military capability and this might lead to a disastrous defeat for India."

Sino-Pak Axis

According to a report by ET published on June 27, India is keeping a vigilant eye on air bases in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) after a Chinese refueler aircraft landed in Skardu last week. Also, Chinese air activity has increased opposite Eastern Ladakh, raising the possibility of PLA Air Force (PLAAF) using air bases in PoK. In August last year, the Skardu base was used by Pakistani JF 17s on their way to the PLAAF base at Hotan for a joint exercise. The Shaheen series of exercises involving J 10s from China and Pakistani JF 17 jets had been carefully monitored by India and took place in the area opposite Eastern Ladakh.

China’s Pakistan Card

While the PLAAF can make up for the high altitude by deploying aerial tankers, Indian military planners have always been wary that in a time of conflict, air bases in PoK could be handed over to China. In the past, Pakistan had no qualms in allowing other nations to use its airbases and military camps. During the Afghanistan campaign launched in 2001, US forces had enclaves at several Pakistani air bases to support combat missions against the Taliban.