China’s control of Gwadar will deter India, says report

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 23, 2013 00:22 IST

China's presence in the Gwadar port at the mouth of the Arabian Sea will deter India from carrying out any action planned against Pakistan, the Chinese state-media has said quoting an Islamabad-based think-tank.

Pakistan on Monday officially handed over the operations of the strategic Gwadar port from a Singaporean company to Beijing; the port was, in the first place, largely built by Chinese funding.

Gwadar has strategic importance for China as about 60% of its crude supply comes from Gulf countries that are close to Gwadar.

Indian anxiety over the presence of China is highly visible from what New Delhi is doing to counter the "so-called dragon's threat", the article from the Islamabad Policy Research Institute published by the state-run Global Times newspaper said.

"New Delhi is cooperating with US in Asia-Pacific and in India Ocean to contain the expanding power of China. The plans for the development of new sea ports in the Strait of Malacca are aimed to dominate the sea routes of the region. Presence of Indian and US military will create maritime barriers to China in times of conflict," it said.

It put forward three reasons why India was uneasy about China controlling a port in Pakistan.

"First, Gwadar Port nullifies the India-US strategy of encircling China. Second, India is afraid that China may expand its influence in the Indian Ocean which may result in harming Indian interests. And third, India feels that the port would enable Pakistan to take control of more of the world energy circulation and interdiction of Indian tankers" it said.

It added that while expressing apprehension of Chinese presence in Gwadar, India seldom speaks about port of Chabahar in Iran New Delhi plans to invest a huge chunk of money to gain influence on the Arabian Sea.

The handing over the port to China was extensively covered by the state media here including the national broadcaster, China Central Television.

On Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters that the transfer of the managing rights is a business project that falls under trade and economic cooperation conducted between China and Pakistan.

Asked to comment on the strategic significance of the deal, Hong said, "Boosting China-Pakistan cooperation is not only in the interests of both countries, but also conducive to maintaining regional stability and development."

Beijing provided about 75% of the initial funding of $250 million for building the port.


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