Senior Colonel Geng Yansheng, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), expressed at the regular press conference of the MND held on February 28, 2013 that currently the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has no overseas military base.
Geng Yansheng said that it is a common practice for naval taskforces of various countries to berth at nearby ports of coastal countries for replenishment during their oceangoing voyages. The Chinese naval escort taskforces have berthed at many ports of coastal countries for replenishment since they carried out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast at the end of 2008.
A reporter asked: How does the Chinese side comment on the voice that after taking over the Gwadar Port, China will possibly rebuild the pure commercial port into a naval base and develop a “string of pearls strategy” of establishing a ring of encirclement against India?
Geng Yansheng expressed that Chinese enterprise’s takeover of the management rights of the Gwadar Port is a commercial project under the framework of China-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation, which is not only in the interests of the people of the two countries but also conducive to the regional prosperity and development. The so-called “string of pearls strategy” is totally groundless.