China gets 40-year management rights on Pak's Gwadar port, and access to Arabian Sea

Apr 14, 2015 12:00 AM

China has won the right to operate Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is believed to have strong military possibilities, for a period of 40 years. The move will give China access to Gulf countries, and the possibility of building a naval base on the Arabian Sea in future, sources said.

Hong Kong-based Pheonix TV quoted Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, was quoted as saying the port can be put into full use by 2015 end because the infrastructure construction is nearly complete.

China has both financed and constructed the port because it opens up a route for transporting Middle East oil by a 3,000-km long land route from Gwadar port to Kashgar, the northwestern Chinese city. Oil from the Middle East could be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to China by rail and road, the TV report said

The deep sea port of Gwadar is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, which is the gateway for about 20 percent of the world's oil. It is also situated in Pakistan's western province of Balochistan..

"It (the port) will turn the tables... it will really benefit Pakistan and China," Phoenix TV quoted Riaz Mohammad Khan, advisory board member of the Center for International Strategic Studies in Pakistan as saying.

China is building an economic corridor connecting Gwadar to China's Xinjiang via roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas. It will act as a bridge for China's planned Maritime Silk Route meant to link more than 20 countries as part of a trans-Eurasian project.

China plans to invest $1.62 billion on further development of ?the Gwadar project, which includes construction of an eastern expressway linking the harbor and coastline, an international airport, breakwater and nine other projects expected to be complete in three to five years.

Gwadar will soon start building a container terminal measuring 1,200 meters and a 300-meter-long cargo terminal that can harbor four berths! the TV report said.

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