Executive Briefings

China Takes Control of Pakistan Port from Singapore

China has assumed control of a strategic Pakistani port on the Arabian Sea, as part of a drive to secure energy and maritime routes that also gives it a potential naval base, sparking Indian concern. The Pakistani cabinet approved the transfer of Gwadar, currently a commercial failure cut off from the national road network, from Singapore's PSA International to the state-owned China company on January 30.

It had not been clear when the actual handover would take place, but Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding that was broadcast live by local television.

"The contract of operation of Gwadar port is formally given to China. Today, the agreement is transferred from the Port of Singapore Authority to China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited," Zardari said.

The Pakistanis pitched the deal as offering an energy and trade corridor that would connect China to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz. Experts say it would cut thousands of kilometers off the distance which oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East have to travel to reach China.

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It had not been clear when the actual handover would take place, but Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding that was broadcast live by local television.

"The contract of operation of Gwadar port is formally given to China. Today, the agreement is transferred from the Port of Singapore Authority to China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited," Zardari said.

The Pakistanis pitched the deal as offering an energy and trade corridor that would connect China to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz. Experts say it would cut thousands of kilometers off the distance which oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East have to travel to reach China.

Read Full Article