Taking charge: China ready to operate Gwadar port

Published: May 22, 2011
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani  inspect honour guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Pakistan hopes China will build a naval port at Gwadar. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani inspect honour guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Pakistan hopes China will build a naval port at Gwadar. PHOTO: FILE/AFP


China has acceded to Pakistan’s request to take over operations at Gwadar port, while Islamabad also requested Beijing to build a naval base at the same port. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, however, expressed strong resentment over the deal and said his government was neither taken on board, nor does he agree with it.

“The Chinese government has acceded to Pakistan’s request to take over operations at Gwadar port as soon as the terms of agreement with the Singapore Port Authority (SPA) expire,” Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said after his visit to China with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Scrapping the old deal

Pakistan had initiated negotiations with the Chinese government after the Planning Commission’s task force on maritime industry had proposed that an operational agreement with PSA be cancelled.

“During initial negotiations, two berths at Gwadar port were offered to China to handle vessels containing Chinese goods,” sources said.

The task force had observed that the PSA had undertaken to spend $525 million in five years, but nothing was spent during the last three years. No commercial vessel had arrived at Gwadar port during the same period.

The task force also observed that a penalty of $8-10 million would have to be paid to the PSA if the contract was cancelled.

The Balochistan government had also opposed the concession agreement with the PSA.

The defence minister said Pakistan requested for 4,400-tonne frigates on credit basis.

“We also asked the Chinese government to train our personnel on submarines,” the minister added.

The minister said Pakistan was grateful to China for constructing Gwadar port but “would be more grateful if the Chinese government built a naval base for Pakistan at Gwadar.”

Raisani’s resentment

Raisani said he was appalled by the federal government’s decision to hand over Gwadar’s operations to China since he was designated as Gwadar Port Authority chairman at a federal cabinet meeting.

Since day one, the Balochistan government has been demanding an end to the agreement with PSA, he said, adding that they “are competent enough to operate the port.”

Such decisions on the part of the federal government will increase the sense of deprivation in Balochistan, he said, adding the government should concede the rights of people over their resources.

The federal government should take the people of Balochistan into confidence while taking important decisions, or else the people would not accept such arbitrary decisions, he added.

Promoting JF-17 Thunder

Prime Minister Gilani asked his Chinese counterpart to induct the JF-17 Thunder aircraft in the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force. Doing so would not only give the aircraft publicity but also bring down the production cost if a large quantity of the aircraft is sold, the premier was reported to have said.

The Chinese government was also requested to provide FC-20, a variant of the Chengdu J-10 aircraft for Pakistan Air Force.

The Chinese premier said he was pleased to assist Pakistan in repairing the Attabad Lake and the Karakoram Highway.

India ‘concerned’

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony said his country views with “serious concern” the growing defence ties between China and Pakistan and says it will have to bolster its own military capabilities to meet the challenge.

“It is a matter of serious concern for us. The main thing is we have to increase our capability – that is the only answer,” Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters in New Delhi late on Friday. The comments followed reports that China plans to accelerate supply of 50 new JF-17 Thunder multi-role combat jets to Pakistan under a co-production pact.

Antony added that India may sign a contract to buy 126 fighter jets for its air force by the end of March 2012.

“This fiscal (year) ends on March 31, 2012. The deal can happen before that,” Antony said.

India has allocated $3.6 trillion for the defence sector in the fiscal year through March 2012, up from $1.47 trillion last year. [With additional input from Shahzad Baloch in Quetta and wires]

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • Fahad Raza
    May 22, 2011 - 1:00AM

    Good idea.Recommend

  • fahim
    May 22, 2011 - 1:02AM

    we have become crazy. from the lap of US to the lap of chinese. Whats wrong with us?? Spending billions of dollars in useless defence deals. It seems every part of our country and economy is owned by foreigners. Chinese mean pure business and we are gift wrapping our assets in every field to them out of hate against US and India !! Its a dangerous trend. Instead of solving outstanding issues with US, India, Russia, Afghan… we are gearing up for geopolitical game by joining hands with chinese. We should not get involved in these great games by big powers like US, China, India Russia. We should learn to cut our clothes according to our size and not act like hero. This kind of move will invite retaliatory moves by India who is already spending 70 billion dollars in next 3-4 years for defence, mainly against chinese. Can we even dream to match it? China and India’s economy is 25 and 12 times bigger than us and they can afford it with 9% growth. With our dead economy, 16% inflation, no power, gas, water, industry, job, railways, airlines, terrorism, corruption, 10 trillion loan, we are foolishly getting involved in high stake strategic games. Common citizens must raise voice to focus internally.Recommend

  • Uzair Javaid
    May 22, 2011 - 1:02AM

    BRAVO !! BRAVO – for all those specially indians who would soon be flooding with their illogical nonsense crap, please refrain. UAE would soon enhance the perks given by them to the baloch insurgents to destabilize the region. China is coming up against US’s influence across the regionRecommend

  • DamDam
    May 22, 2011 - 1:25AM

    Colonize us ohh might dragon. Recommend

  • Indian USA
    May 22, 2011 - 1:32AM

    A confident nation builds and operates its own ports/naval bases than handing over to any country.I don’t understand why even after independence from Briton 64 years ago, Pakistan consciously hands over its own strategic spots to other country.

    Funny thing is even after deliberately doing this,they talk of Sovereignty!!!Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    May 22, 2011 - 1:41AM

    Isn’t this similar to Afghanistan inviting the Soviets ? Anyway, a port in Baluchistan under direct Chinese control is not something India can take lightly. I see dark days ahead.Recommend

  • saifu
    May 22, 2011 - 2:01AM

    I think pakistan is going in wrong direction!!

    Asking china to come and build naval base is suicidal!!

    why we are struck in colonial mindset??

    first america and now china !!

    We are sinking Recommend

  • Chandler
    May 22, 2011 - 2:08AM

    Looking forward to the day when Pakistan becomes a province of China.
    Pak-China friendship ZindabadRecommend

  • DamDam
    May 22, 2011 - 3:00AM

    Colonize us oh mighty dragon.Recommend

  • May 22, 2011 - 3:21AM

    How does the help? You want to end the inteference of one power and replace it with another? And this makes Pakistan soverign? Recommend

  • May 22, 2011 - 3:28AM

    Just wanted to ask one question, would not it be against our sovereignty for which we moan every now and then. We should establish relationships with whoever but on bit of balanced terms rather then either buy-in to US or China. We already suffering a lot because of this. Please dont make pakistan, a country provision to world power’s bases. I hope people making foriegn policy do use some “common sense”.Recommend

  • Maria
    May 22, 2011 - 3:35AM

    It is only logical for Pakistan to develop Gwader as a functioning port with its own naval base. Relying solely on Karachi would be fool hardly. The Chinese would better help develop a naval base in keeping with our limited budget as opposed to some grand western style naval base which would be difficult to build and maintain.Recommend

  • May 22, 2011 - 4:48AM

    Long Live Pakistan-Chine FriendshipRecommend

  • Watchma
    May 22, 2011 - 5:39AM

    This is interesting news.. China expanding in the Arabian Sea with a Naval Base.. The US won’t like it but can’t stop them from doing so.Recommend

  • gandoo
    May 22, 2011 - 6:46AM

    This story is about China and Pakistan.Still the Indians will swamp to comment about their pathetic bubble economy.The So called Indian tata and what not lost 80% of their value in 2008.So India is nothing but a bubble with 20/27 states in FATA like situation

    This is great news, once pakistan has a secured our Ports with Chinese Assistance , we can focus our resources on economic development and KashmirRecommend

  • Tariq
    May 22, 2011 - 7:47AM

    Wow China gace 200 million while US 20 billion and you hate the US. good luckRecommend

  • A Suhail
    May 22, 2011 - 9:18AM

    Will, we, Pakistani’s ever take control of our own destiny. Gwadar, a strategically important port, will be run by Chinese and we are clapping over this. Its like Chinese giving control of Shanghai port to Pakistan, how absurd is this. We want masters to rule over us, be it US, Saudis or Chinese. Our leaders are selling national land and resources for cheap and we are clapping, I think most of our just too damn busy trying to get foreign passports that we fail to think about the future consequences of these actions by our government. Recommend

  • faraz
    May 22, 2011 - 9:28AM

    You need trade to make use of the ports. Ports without shipping are useless. Its all about education, human resource development, economy and inner stability, not foreign policyRecommend

  • Mirza
    May 22, 2011 - 9:37AM

    Selling Pakistan bit by bit. When would the nuclear bomb go on sale? Is the old group active again?
    Air bases to UAE, major port to China, other bases to USA, who else is willing to pay for Pakistani defense assets? Recommend

  • Munna Bhai
    May 22, 2011 - 9:42AM

    I wonder whether Tribune considers me a ‘persona non grata’. It doesn’t like my saying “Forever-friendship” with China might lead to China “forever” ruling Pakistan, but it accepts when another reader says that Pakistan will become China’s province.
    I said the same thing some days ago, but my comment was moderated & deleted.
    Is this discrimination because I am an Indian? Hope not. Whatever I say is for good of Pakistan & it will come only through friendship with India.
    Beware of Chinese evil designs.Recommend

  • Fareed
    May 22, 2011 - 9:59AM

    The title is: China ready to operate Gwadar port.
    Of course, they are ‘ready to operate’! LOL!
    Pak army, will soon be a ‘cadet corp’ of the PLA Foreign Legions. WOW!
    The title should have read,
    “China wrestles controls of Gwadar Port, thanks to Pakistan’s acquiescence.”Recommend

  • Shamsi Ajanee
    May 22, 2011 - 10:25AM

    This is brilliant decision and very welcome decision.

    Pakistan has to make decisions which are good for the country and nothing can be better than close ties with China. This is Pakistan future and beneficial to both countries.

    Reko Deq mining rights should also be given to China. Recommend

  • Khalid Ahmed
    May 22, 2011 - 11:35AM


    Keep telling lies to yourself to keep your mind sane.

    China is the biggest bubble economy and everyone knows that. All you jingoists should prepare to save your faces once Chinese bubble pops.Recommend

  • M.Akthar
    May 22, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Shamsi Bhai, we should not be childish. The Shamshi Airbase is with UAE, US literally owns our skies, Chinese will take over the Gwadar, one of the most strategic ports which can dominate Iran, Afghanistan. Saudis own agri lands in Pakistan. Mush sold "Militant Pakistanis” (Aasia& others) in the war on Terror.

    China paid the least just a few good words, the Junk JF-17 which their airforce also didn`t accept, and 12 mil dollars in Aid (much less than India paid during flood).

    So, what ghairat is left to us. Imran khan only howl at Drones and US but cannot stand against ISI or GHQ for the protesting.. Sad state of affairs.

    Who pays will get the bride called Pakistan!! How long can we be in Bed for money. UAE, Saudi, US, Nato, & the latest customer China. Are we still the land of the pure?

    Why cant Tribune post an article on this aspect?Recommend

  • Dude..
    May 22, 2011 - 1:34PM

    What can i say as an indian.. You are falling in trap.. First US and then China.. Sadly no one this about the poor people..Recommend

  • Adnan
    May 22, 2011 - 2:32PM

    Why is it that articles on Gwadar are so poorly researched? The reason PSA has not developed the port is because the Govt promised to guarantee security and to build the direct road upcountry. Our incompetent govt cannot fulfill its promises, so we are outsourcing governance to the Chinese. They will never come because they will face the same problems with Pak Govt. Gwadar is not feasible as a project and it never will be. Planned by bureaucrats with no knowledge of shipping.Recommend

  • Wasim
    May 22, 2011 - 2:33PM

    @Tariq. U.S. gave Pakistan 20 billion dollars but Pakistan also lost 70 billion dollars fighting for America’s war OF terror and lost 35,000 Pakistani lives and 5,000 soldiers for Americ’s war. China has never hurt any Pakistani while U.S. kills Pakistani children every other day by their drones. China has never violated Pakistan’s sovereignity while U.S. violates Pakistan’s sovereignity every other day. China has never set up its intelligence network in Pakistan like America’s CIA did in Pakistan. Its not China we should be getting rid of, its U.S. that we should be getting rid of.

    Back to topic, Pakistan can use China’s hand in turning the rusted Gwadar Port to a success. Gwadar Port has so far become a failure, maybe China can improve the project so Gwadar Port can reach its full potential. And a Chinese naval base would be in Pakistan’s interests. China said an attack on Pakistan would be an attack on China, and we need this trusted powerful ally.

    P.S. Beware of indians using Pakistani names in the comment section. We all know that indians hate this friendship.Recommend

  • Sobriquet
    May 22, 2011 - 2:37PM

    @gandoo: Your name speaks for your logic!Recommend

  • irfan
    May 22, 2011 - 4:41PM

    China is not an USA… China spends $60 Billion for defense when compared to the $750 billion by USA… China doesnt hv the capability to replicate what US does… It s still fighting poverty and still 35% of the chinese are below poverty line… in regard to technology, chinese are kings in reverse engineering and not in innovation… So at present China cant do what US is doing inn Pakistan… But China ll do the same after 20 years… So to whomsoever it may be Pakistan rents out it sovereignty in the name of aid, finally the people of pakistan is going to suffer cos of the fawed policies of its leaders… Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    May 22, 2011 - 6:31PM

    High time for Baloch brothers to learn to respect the Pakistan flag. although this is an absolute non sense direction that pak has taken, but some baloch locals have contributed to this situation by demonstrating absolute isolated attitude, resulting lack of trust between islamabad and baloch community… for example i have never seen a single blaoch politician speaking to the masses of sukhar, Multan, Peshawar or Lahore. the good way forward is that people like shahzain, Atta Ullah mengal sahib, Gaus bux bazanjo sahib, zafar ullah jamali sahib, should come to punjab, sindh and KP to break the this sense of separation and they will see Pakistan standing by their side for baloch rights… it is not yet very late !!!Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    May 22, 2011 - 6:36PM

    sorry .. wanted to write Mir Hasil bazanjo sahib. (Mir Gaus bux was the father of Hasil bazanjo)Recommend

  • schoolboy
    May 22, 2011 - 7:03PM

    LOL, do u think that china will add you as its province?? the possible chance is that they will take your land, but not you,
    lets seeRecommend

  • Shabbir Baloch
    May 22, 2011 - 7:10PM

    Try to understand guys. China is not USA, it wont bite you. China will help Pak against security threats from Afghanistan. China,s assistant is must for Pak, there is no harm.Recommend

  • Lily Lee
    May 22, 2011 - 8:00PM

    Pakistan looks like making policies like a kid… totally stupid.
    The whole country was created on jealousy by the leader because he could not cling to the power; this band-aid theory will evantually doom the nation.
    Lets check China whom they are best friends with, the following troubled nations:
    N Korea

    Any good nation is in the list of China whom they consider as friends and are not doomed?
    or may be china is goes to places and empties the coffers of those contry and leaves them in mess..
    well time will tell, in 10 yrs China will rule pakistan complelelyt then pakistan might have to beg or find another country who is super power to counter china, like it does to the US right now and before it was Russia..
    Anyway, the point is, if Pakistan exists.. :)Recommend

  • fahim
    May 22, 2011 - 9:09PM

    @Wasim: Practically dude, I dont trust anything that our Govt Publishes. All this 70 billion dollar loss is a nonsense. These numbers keep changing every week and with every talk show and with every political party. Where is the account for 70 billion dollars? Can our govt give a breakdown? And one more thing, just because a muslim name person write comment against pakistan policies doesnt mean that he is a secret indian guy. There are sane pakistanis who are raising voices against this madness. We should learn to stay according to our size and small budget. As a pakistani I say that we must not get into these cheap and dangerous games of once sitting in the lap of US, then on China, then on Saudi…. There are far bigger players in the game US, China, India, Russia… and we will burn our fingers as in past by stupidly getting invovled in these strategic games. If we cant develop gwadar, we must try ourselves. we dont need any chinese to tell us what to do, as we dont need any US or Saudi. Recommend

  • Wasil Arain
    May 22, 2011 - 9:31PM

    It is a good news that Gawader port’s operations are being handed over to Chinese who have a stake in its success being the major investors in its building.
    It was stupid of Musharaf regime to prefer PSA over Chinese operators and the dismal outcome is there for all to see.
    However the deal for war toys and building of naval base manifests the perenial psychosis, which is not going to do any good for the country with so many other needs crying for priorities.Recommend

  • Aebak
    May 23, 2011 - 3:00AM

    I like tribune very much, but do you guys know how much 3.6 trillion dollars are?? Such ridiculous reporting!!

    “India has allocated $3.6 trillion for the defence sector in the fiscal year through March 2012, up from $1.47 trillion last year.
    Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2011.”Recommend

  • mussarat Hussain
    May 23, 2011 - 3:47AM

    Pakistan has virtually divorced US and reviving old friendship with China, beig a Pakistani I love China but hate communism. At the same time, I also know a universal truth that” There is always a third person in bed when a divorced couple meet.


  • Mussharaf
    May 24, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Crazy talking people. China is not going to colonize the people of Pakistan and has no intention to do so. There is a big difference in the relationship between Pakistan and China, Pakistan and USA, Pakistan and India through history and most relationships are tested by time.Recommend

  • faisal
    May 25, 2011 - 1:58PM

    Its good because pakistanis cannot build gwadar in a century and the reason is how corrupt we are. at least chinese can make theire airbase which can be alarming for usa and india thus the pressure will increase on them. first of all pakistan need to resolve power crisis and to boom our industry etc. our economy is destroyed nothing left no physical security nor financial security for foreign investors. we need good foreign direct investments and mega projects to make pakistan one of the emerging markets.Recommend

  • Jul 12, 2011 - 4:24PM

    this is a big issue in region and pk will screw up cause of us and chines war in 2014


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