China likely to build military base in Pakistan: US

Published: June 7, 2017
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.

The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion.

That is higher than China’s official defense budget figure of $140.4 billion. Chinese leaders, the US report said, appeared committed to defense spending hikes for the “foreseeable future,” even as economic growth slows.

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The report repeatedly cited China’s construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, which is already home to a key US military base and is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal. “China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan,” the report said.

Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worries in India that it would become another of China’s ‘string of pearls’ of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The report did not address India’s potential reaction to a Chinese base in Pakistan.

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But Pakistan, the US report noted, was already the primary market in the Asian-Pacific region for Chinese arms exports. That region accounted for $9 billion of the more than $20 billion in Chinese arms exports from 2011 to 2015.

Last year, China signed an agreement with Pakistan for the sale of eight submarines.

Quantum satellite, cyber hacks

The Pentagon report flagged Chinese military advances, including in space and at sea. It cited China’s 2016 launch of the first experimental quantum communications satellite, acknowledging that it represented a “notable advance in cryptography research.”

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As in past years, the Pentagon renewed its concerns about cyber spying, saying US government-owned computers were again targeted by China-based intrusions through 2016. “These and past intrusions focused on accessing networks and extracting information,” the report said.

“China uses its cyber capabilities to support intelligence collection against US diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors.”

In a section discussing China’s Navy, the report predicted that China’s first domestically designed and produced aircraft carrier would likely reach initial operating capability in 2020.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • BrainBro
    Jun 7, 2017 - 9:28AM

    China cannot even produce a proper jet liner engine, all they do is copy old Russian tech. They lack science that is required for complex technology structure, something only Japan and South Korea have in Asia.Recommend

  • salman
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:18AM

    Why not ? We gonna welcome it. Its good for Pakistan’s security as well to have very close strategic relationship with Chinese.Recommend

  • omar anis
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:21AM

    that’s paramount for Pakistan security as we are stretched thin.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:31AM

    Pakistan have already decided to establish Joint Naval Force with China for the safety of Gawadar and to prevent Indian Spies Entering from Iran .Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:34AM

    The day Chinese Troops and bases make home in Pakistan will be the beginning of the end for the country. The people of Pakistan did not make sacrifices and win independence for their country to be sold away by vested interests who wanted to line their own pockets, more so to the only country on earth that has deprived their Muslim citizens of religious freedom. Neither would the benefactors who gave billions to fight communism look on with amusement.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:49AM

    Huh India knew it already, what’s new in it?? India do have plans in place for such as well.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jun 7, 2017 - 10:56AM

    that was obvious.The reason why India against CPEC is strategically located Gwadar.China and pakistan are fooling people projecting this as a win win venture. the only win is for China to have bases in Arabian sea.But they have miscalculated the repercussions in the future.wait and see.Recommend

  • yugal
    Jun 7, 2017 - 12:57PM

    First USA ruled foreign policy of Pak, Now China will rule. I don’t think there is any foreign policy of Pak. Pakistan is a country who can not grow without others hel. Lalchi Politican and Military. You are selling your country. Recommend

  • Solat
    Jun 7, 2017 - 1:56PM

    @Vectra:
    We are not interested about India here, so don’t tell us.Recommend

  • A@mir
    Jun 7, 2017 - 2:02PM

    Chineses are always welcome.. but why one base only?

    A friend in need is a friend indeed.Recommend

  • Shamsul Khondoker
    Jun 7, 2017 - 2:47PM

    China is the great great friend of Pakistan, long live China Pakistan friendship, I am not a Pakistani, but I wish all the best for Pakistan and I also love this country, I never forget 10 beautiful years of my life I spent in this beautiful country, and with wonderful people. Recommend

  • perplexed
    Jun 7, 2017 - 5:04PM

    China is carrying the message of peace and its evident with their economic policies in Africa Asia all over the world development projects with Pakistan should be completed in time scheduled taking in care the conspiracies that might be hatched in endia afganistan…..Recommend

  • hasan ali
    Jun 8, 2017 - 12:04AM

    @BrainBro
    Like you Iphone.
    China will change the world by 2025.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 8, 2017 - 11:01AM

    @Feroz:
    We already have US drone bases so why not internationalize and throw in some Chinese bases as well ? Btw, who has sold who down the river, foreigners or our leaders or both ? We sold out long ago and you can take that to the bank.Recommend

  • Umar
    Jun 8, 2017 - 11:53AM

    Modi goes begging to goras for investment in USA while China is investing in Pakistan without request. This is good.

    But I would be careful of Chinese military bases because look at Japan and how it is not allowed any military by American military presence.Recommend

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