What is Chinese Interest in Gwadar?
China has a great strategic interest in Gwadar. Following are the important ones:-
- China is heavily dependent upon the oil from the gulf, at present this oil passes via a very long route, through the straight of Malacca under US influence. After this oil has reached the Shanghai or the Chinese East Cost, it has to be transported thousands of miles in land to West of China. By using Gwadar port and than Karakoram Highway (KKH) its much safer, cheaper and shorter route to west of china.
- Middle East is very important region in the world because of its Oil Reserves and large markets. China has a natural dependence on this but does not have means to influence it. Government of Pakistan has already committed to providing a Navel Base to China in Gwadar. This will not only help secure the Gwadar but also take the Pakistan China Friendship to new heights.
- Chinese Goods will find an easier, shorter and secure route to Middle East increasing profitability and increasing trade.
- China will greatly benefit from the industrial zone by setting up industries close to the markets.
It is important to understand the Chinese commitments which are indicative of importance that china attaches to Gwadar. China has very strongly committed to Gwadar project, because of her interests. Following are the major inputs from the China:-
- China has been instrumental in design of the project.
- China is providing approximately 80% of the cost of Port in shape of grants and soft loans.
- Over 500 Chinese workers have worked on the project on 24 hour basis to complete the port setup. There are still a large number of Chinese workers and engineers working on the project.
- China has further committed to provide money and resources as and when needed.
- China is setting up a Dry Port at the Pak China border to take advantage of shorter route to sea through Gwadar.
- China has paid US$ 360 million to Pakistan for expansion and up gradation to all weather traficability of Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China. The contract has been awarded to Frontier Works Organization, who has also started the project.
- Feasibility and engineering studies to connect China with Gwadar through pipeline and railway track has already begun. This railway track also has the significance of being an engineering marvel of the world. chinese interest gwader.