Gwadar in the Hands of China

Southasia - - Briefing -

The Government of Pak­istan has of­fi­cially awarded the multi-bil­lion dol­lar con­tract for the con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of Gwadar Port to China. The con­tract was signed in the pres­ence of Pres­i­dent Asif Ali Zar­dari, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador Liu Jian and se­nior government of­fi­cials.

Pre­vi­ously, the Port of Sin­ga­pore Author­ity (PSA) was han­dling the op­er­a­tions of Gwadar Port. The PSA aban­doned the project when Pak­istan failed to meet obli­ga­tions un­der the 40year port han­dling agree­ment signed in 2007. In ad­di­tion, the PSA had an­tic­i­pated spend­ing $525 mil­lion on the project in five years but it made no such in­vest­ment be­cause of non-ful- fill­ment of its de­mand for al­lot­ment of land worth Rs. 15 bil­lion.

China ex­pressed its in­ter­est in Gwadar Port in De­cem­ber 2010 when it of­fered to con­struct ad­di­tional berths and make the port op­er­a­tional if Pak­istan handed it over.

Gwadar Port has the po­ten­tial to be­come the hub of re­gional trade and com­merce, bring­ing Cen­tral Asian coun­tries closer. The strate­gic lo­ca­tion of Gwadar Port will in­te­grate the economies of the re­gion, by serv­ing as a trade cor­ri­dor, link­ing China’s province of Xin­jiang to the Mid­dle East. More­over, the close prox­im­ity of the Mid­dle East to Gwadar will fa­cil­i­tate im­port of oil to China.

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