Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pakistan: Pakistan Hands Management Of Strategic Port To China

RFE/RL Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

Pakistan Hands Management Of Strategic Port To China

Pakistan has awarded a contract to a Chinese company for the operations of its strategic Gwadar port.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian on February 18.

Zardari said Gwadar will soon be a "hub of trade and commerce in the region."

He said that China, which imports much of its oil from the Persian Gulf, could use the facility to provide supplies to the western Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet, which are closer to Gwadar than to any port in China.

The port, completed in 2006 with the financial assistance of China, was initially operated by a Singaporean company.

No reason was given for the cancelation of that contract.

The move could cause concern in India, which is wary of China's growing strategic clout.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal