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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