News / Asia

China Refuses to Confirm Reports it Will Run Strategic Pakistani Port

Participants listen to speeches during the opening ceremony of newly built Gwadar port, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Karachi, Pakistan (File Photo - March 20, 2007)
Participants listen to speeches during the opening ceremony of newly built Gwadar port, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Karachi, Pakistan (File Photo - March 20, 2007)
Stephanie Ho

China says it has not heard of Pakistan’s request to operate a strategic port on Pakistan’s southwest coast and to help build a naval base there.

Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar says China has agreed to take over operation of Gwadar, a strategic deep water port that China helped to build several years ago.

The Pakistan Defense Ministry also has said that Islamabad would be grateful if China also helped to build a naval base there. A Pakistani statement says the deal was reached last week when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was in China.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu Tuesday told reporters that China and Pakistan are engaged in extensive cooperation. But she said she has not heard of the specific Gwadar project.

Jiang Yu , Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman
Jiang Yu , Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

Jiang says the topic also was not raised during the Pakistani leader’s visit to China last week.

While China helped to fund and to build the commercial Gwadar port several years ago, it is now run by the Singapore Port Authority. The port is located at the northern end of the Arabian Sea, with key access to shipping lanes heading west to the Persian Gulf.

Despite China’s lack of official confirmation, Tim Huxley, a defense expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says he has heard about the proposal.

“The initiative seems to have come from the Pakistani side, and I am sure there would be commercial benefits for China in doing this,” he said.

The Pakistani prime minister’s trip to China last week came as some U.S. lawmakers are calling for reducing billions of dollars in aid to Islamabad. While ties between Pakistan and the United States have long been tense, the killing of Osama bin Laden on Pakistani territory has worsened the relationship on both sides.

Huxley says he sees two reasons why China may want to consider helping with the Gwadar port.

“One is China’s assistance in developing a commercial port and secondly possibly China’s assistance to develop a Pakistani naval base, that might in the future, that Chinese vessels could visit that Pakistani naval base, which was been developed with Chinese assistance," he said. "I would not rule that out in the future.”

Huxley says China has been expanding its naval operations in the Indian Ocean mostly because it wants to secure its oil supplies from the Middle East. He said that as China’s economic power increases, its navy will increase as well to protect those interests, raising concerns among China’s neighbors.  



You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid