In A Worrying Move For India, First Chinese Ship, Trade Convoy Dock At Gwadar Port This picture taken on 6 February 2007, shows a view of the Beijing-funded ‘megaport’ of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan. Photo Credit: STRDEL/AFP/GettyImages

The first Chinese trade convoy carrying 75 containers for export to the Middle East and Africa arrived in Pakistan's Gwadar port through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while a Chinese ship docked at the deep-water port, as both countries prepare to formally launch trade activities through the upgraded port.

The ship anchored at the port on Friday and a second trade convoy was scheduled to arrive on Saturday, Dawn reported. The goods will be exported to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The CPEC is a $46 billion network of roads, railways and energy pipelines linking western China to the Gwadar deep-water port on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast. The corridor passes through the occupied territory of Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The loading of 300 containers on ships will be completed on Saturday and they will depart from the port the following day for destinations in the Middle East and Africa, Ary News reported. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend a ceremony on Sunday to mark the opening of trade activities through the corridor. Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and ambassadors of 15 other countries will also attend the event.

The CPEC not only provides China a safe and faster access to the Gulf, but also gives Pakistan an opportunity to become a part of the global supply chain and benefit from the economic activity that will take place through the corridor. Though the benefits are limited to the country’s military establishment and Pakistan’s most populous state of Punjab, the operationalisation of the port will have strategic implications for India.

With the operationalisation of Gwadar, the construction of Chabahar port assumes greater importance. Chabahar is an Iranian port which is being developed by India to act as a counterbalance to CPEC. The port will also provide India unhindered access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Advertisement