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Suspicions on China's taking over of Gwadar port are groundless (2)

(People's Daily Online)

18:19, February 20, 2013

Over-interpretation of the West

It must be pointed out that the "strategic" value of Gwadar port is still in the "potential" stage. The experts also said it is too early to elevate Gwadar Port to such a strategic height. Initially Gwadar port had not been designed in accordance with the standards for the mooring of tanker vessel. Future extension and construction of tanker terminal is feasible, but the transportation of oil by road to China is no easy task.

Nevertheless, some Western and Indian media still "got ants in the pants" concerning this commercial transaction between China and Pakistan. In their eyes, any move of China to increase its influence on Pakistan and southern Asia has something to do with "expanding forces" or even "besieging India".

On Feb. 17, a report of Agence France-Presse said Gwadar port "is essential to China's offshore expansion" and "the move will allow China to have a potential naval base in the Arabian Sea".

The United States' think tank also "perceptively" notices that Gwadar port "plays the role of an intelligence station," where "China can monitor the activities of the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, the activities of India in the Arabian Sea, and the U.S.-Indian maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean".

Pei Yuanying said these are all over-interpretation and misunderstanding. As early as in 2007 when the port is originally built, India was already suspicion-ridden. The Pakistani side transferred the right to operate the port to Singapore just to avoid suspicion. Zhao Gancheng said that the so-called "besieging theory" and "expansion theory" are all "strategic attempts" imposed upon China by force by the "oversensitive" India and the West. China neither wants to nor needs to "detour" to the Indian Ocean to curb India.

Furthermore, the Indian Ocean is international public waters related to China's energy security, so China will take the initiative to keep the international waterway secure and unblocked. However, Zhao also said that the increasing importance of the Indian Ocean for China's energy security urges China to enhance communication and exchanges with the Indian Ocean rim countries and actively partake in public affairs in the Indian Ocean. In this regard, there is still a lot to be done.

Read the Chinese version: 中国接手瓜达尔港,有人瞎猜疑, source: Jiefang Daily, author: An Zheng

【1】 【2】

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