Foreign media: China may guard Gwadar Port with submarines

Source
China Military
Editor
Yao Jianing
Time
2016-12-01

BEIJING, Dec. 1 (ChinaMil) -- The website of Taiwan's China Times reported on November 29 that with the increase of national strength, protecting overseas interests has become the strategic core of the Chinese mainland.

According to a Pakistan naval personnel, the PLA Navy will deploy submarines in south Pakistan’s Gwadar Port so as to protect the ports and trade shipping lines in this region. China may also build a military base in Gwadar Port to provide maintenance support for the PLA naval fleet operating in the Indian Ocean and provide support for the PLA Navy to conduct missions and tasks in the future.

Pakistan's Express Tribune quoted a naval officer on November 25 as saying that the China-funded Gwadar Port was open for navigation on November 13. The report said as one of the key projects for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar Port's security is increasingly important, and China will dispatch military vessels to waters near the port.

Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher with the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said on November 27 that he didn't know the details, but he was sure that China would take steps if its sea trade was threatened by pirates or terrorists, including sending military vessels for protection as needed. The PLA Navy has dispatched 24 escort taskforces to the Gulf of Aden for anti-pirate missions so far.

It is reported that the security of the Gwadar Port is a focus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. To protect the project, the Pakistani government has formed a special security taskforce to provide security guarantee. Someone from the Pakistan Navy told Express Tribune that two Pakistani vessels are now on duty near the port along the Arabian Sea coast.

It is said that China will also dispatch military vessels there to protect the port and sea trade. According to analysts, in addition to economic interests, Gwadar Port will also enhance the PLA Navy's capability and open a new route to the Arabian Sea.

The report said that China may also build a military base in Gwadar Port to provide maintenance support for the PLA naval fleet operating in the Indian Ocean and provide support for the PLA Navy to conduct missions and tasks in the future.

A Pakistani naval officer said they are applying for capital from the security fund of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to form a high-speed vessel squadron, which will have four to six vessels.

The deep-water port located in Gwadar, Pakistan's Balochistan, is about 460km west of Karachi and close to the Strait of Hormuz. It is an important strategic position as the gateway from Pakistan to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. In 2015, Pakistan leased an area of 2,000 mu near Gwadar Port to China for the term of 43 years to build the first special economic zone in the country.

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