China has been allowed operation rights for 40 years at a port in Gwadar, a planned deep-water harbor in Pakistan.
This move will give China access to Gulf countries, and the possibility of building a naval base on the Arabian Sea
in future, sources revealed.
Chinese Overseas Port Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Corporation under the State Council, has been granted the right to operate Gwadar for 40 years.
Infrastructure construction is almost complete and the port could be put into complete usage by the end of the year, Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority
It could function as a vibrant economic hub connecting China and Pakistan.
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.
China is expected to invest $1.62 billion in the Gwadar project, including 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.
Located right at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the Gwadar port is just outside the Strait of Hormuz, which is the gateway for about 20 percent of the world’s oil.
The port will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking 3 billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe, part of a trans-Eurasian project proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.