People’s Daily recently reported that a Chinese company officially took over Gwadar Port in Pakistan. The agreement between the two countries was based on a 43-year lease for China to operate and develop the port. Gwadar directly faces the Indian Ocean and looks out onto the Arabian Sea. It is only 400 kilometers away from the Strait of Hormuz and is very close to the India-Pakistan border. Indian media expressed their concern after the agreement was made known to the public. The Port of Gwadar has significant value to China in terms of oil supply because it provides an alternate route to bypass the Strait of Malacca and shortens the distance by 85 percent for China to transport Middle-East-sourced oil to Western China. At the same time, all parties are currently downplaying the strategic military value of Gwadar but are instead focusing on its economic impact.
Source: People’s Daily, November 13, 2015