China understates strategic importance of Gwadar
China has played down the strategic importance of a Chinese company taking control over the management of Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, stating that Beijing’s intentions were purely commercial. Pakistan had decided to transfer the control of the port project from a Singaporean firm to the Chinese Overseas Port Holdings company.
As per China, the port’s major attraction to it was in providing “an alternative to the Strait of Malacca”, through which 80% of China’s oil imports pass. China is also mulling over building a pipeline from the port to its far-western Xinjiang region.
China says that the move is mere a civil project and not a bid to encircle India as shown by String of Pearls strategy.