China has been arming Pakistan’s military in a bid to challenge Indian military dominance in the region. Beijing has supplied first batch of Chinese manufactured vehicle mounted howitzers to counter the Indian K-9 Vajra howitzers to Islamabad which many experts see as a strategy to keep New Delhi occupied and diverted.
Beijing is also supplying NORINCO AR-1 300 mm multi barrel rocket launchers to Rawalpindi so that the Pakistan Army has a reply to Indian rocket launchers. The total contract worth is around $512 million.
Interestingly, after a successful deployment in Ladakh, the Indian Army is also set to acquire 200 more K9 Vajra (Thunder) howitzers.
Pakistan’s army currently uses the M109A5, a tracked self-propelled howitzer made by the United States, although the country plans to upgrade its artillery force with new wheeled artillery weapons.
This strategy has paid dividends to Beijing regime in the past as forces India to remain alert on its western border with a power that boxes much above its weight category due to heavy lift from China, be it in international fora or in military or nuclear parity. The role played by Beijing in developing Pakistan into a nuclear state along with the covert supply of delivery systems since 1990s is all well documented.
A leaked picture of the trials was published in Chinese magazines. Pakistan was believed to have ordered at least 52 SH-15, enough for three regiments of the artillery.
Keeping Pakistan under its wing for strategic purposes and reach to Arabian Sea, China has not only supplied arms to Rawalpindi but has played a spoiler to India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group and has gone to the extent of trying innocent Indians working in Afghanistan listed as global terrorists before the 1267 committee. It routinely sides with Pakistan in the UN over Kashmir and vetoes any attempt to list known pan-Islamic jihadi groups or their leaders as terrorists by the UNSC.