China’s Trade Lifeline to Middle East, Africa Ensured through PakistanPosted: November 15, 2016
SCMP says in its report on November 13 titled “Chinese ship opens new international trade route via Pakistani port” that Pakistani civil and military leaders went to Gwadar Port to see off a Chinese ship that exported goods to the Middle East from the port that has been newly built with Chinese investment.
SCMP says, “Pakistani army has created a special force to guard port and new trade routes”.
That marked the beginning of China’s Silk Road economic belt in Pakistan called the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” where China is building a network of roads and power plants to facilitate shipping of Chinese goods through the corridor to the Middle East and Africa. The Corridor will also make great contributions to Pakistan’s economic growth.
China has developed its J-20 to have air superiority in the area around it to prevent attack by the US, but its trade lifelines through the oceans, especially the Indian Ocean may be cut by powerful US navy.
According to SCMP, “Gwadar port is located on the Arabian Sea and occupies a strategic location between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. The port is also located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz.”
The port is therefore the key to China’s 21st century maritime Silk Road. As the sea route from Gwadar to the Middle East is protected by Pakistani and Iranian air forces, China now has a safe trade route through its Southwest China and Pakistan on land and the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz along Pakistani and Iranian coast instead of the Indian Ocean that may be cut by US or even Indian navy.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2045579/chinese-ship-opens-new-international-trade-route.