While military and political tension is at an all time high between India and Pakistan with Pakistan meddling with Kashmiri factions; China and Pakistan have launched joint military exercises along the Xinjiang province and Pakistan occupied Kashmir border.
The state media reported about the joint patrol even as Chinese President Xi Jinping asked the Chinese Muslims to practice their religion ‘as part of Chinese society and direction’. The Chinese controlled media outlet, The People’s Daily Online has also published a dozen photos with a caption “the frontier defence regiment of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Xinjiang, along with a border police force from Pakistan, carry out a joint patrol along the China-Pakistan border”.
In fact, these joint military exercises are also a result of over 100 Uighur Muslims sneaking out of Xinjiang to join ISIS. Essentially, Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic group. They hail from Xinjiang and China has stated in the past that a number of militants from the community who fought in Syria were caught after their return to cause violent attacks in the volatile province.
In addition to that, the work for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which connects both the countries through highways, rail, optic cable network and pipelines in underway. Once the $46 billion project is complete, Xinjiang will get linked to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.