China has reiterated its pledge to strengthen multilateral strategic partnership with Pakistan, including at military-to-military level.

According to a Chinese media's report, Defence spokesman Col Wu Qian told reporters in Beijing that his country is willing to work with Pakistan to push forward their “all-weather” strategic partnership, as it highlighted the significance of its troops’ participation in the ‘Pakistan Day’ parade for the first time. 

The Chinese military, at a media briefing, screened a video of the combined contingent of Chinese army, navy and air-force personnel taking part in the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23.

Col Wu Qian said ahead of the screening of the video tha t it was a rare gesture to showcase solidarity with Pakistan.

It was the first-time China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops took part in a parade in Pakistan.

Screening the video, Col Wu translated into Chinese the Urdu slogan of “China-Pak Dosti Zindabad” (Long live China-Pak friendship) raised by the PLA troops during the parade. Saudi Special Force’s contingents and Turkish Janissary Military Band also participated in the parade.

Elaborating the relations between the two countries following the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Wu said the bilateral military relations are signified by “three key words”.

Meanwhile, defence experts said that the participation of Chinese troops in 23rd parade was a sign of closer bilateral ties, while others pointed to Beijing's growing regional clout.

In an unprecedented event, 90 Chinese army servicemen took part in the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad, during which Pakistan showed off its long-range missiles, tanks and warplanes.

In an interview with Sputnik, Chinese military expert Song Xiaojun described similar military parades as "a barometer of the state of bilateral relations."

"These are normal exchanges between the armies of China and Pakistan. In practice, Beijing and Islamabad are strategic partners, and we can even say that they have excellent relations of strategic partnership. At the same time, both states are not military allies and they develop normal military contacts, including joint drills," Xiaojun said.

He was echoed by expert Peter Topychkanov of the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, who pointed to close political, economic and military ties between Beijing and Islamabad.

Therefore, there is no doubt that the two countries are interested in further developing this cooperation and want to demonstrate that they are closer to each other," Topychkanov said referring to the Islamabad parade.

"Additionally, it can be perceived as Pakistan's message to its immediate neighbor India that China is on Islamabad's side and that Pakistan is poised to support Beijing," he added.

On the other hand, Viktor Murakhovsky, Russian military expert and editor-in-chief of the Arsenal Otechestva magazine told the Russian online newspaper Vzglyad that he attributes the ongoing development of the Beijing-Islamabad military ties to the fact that China deems it necessary to cooperate with Pakistan in order to counter India and boost its regional clout.

"In fact, Beijing's alliance with Islamabad contributes to the consolidation of China's leading role in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, a chill in ties between Pakistan and the United States allowed China to occupy their niche, significantly strengthening its influence in Central Asia," Murakhovsky said.