Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province is a warm-water port. It is a deep seaport in Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. This port links China's One Belt One Road initiative and its Maritime Silk Road initiative. It is a big part of the CPEC.
The Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, outside the Hormuz Strait, near the main shipping routes into and out of the Gulf of Persia. It is located 533 kilometres from Karachi and 120 kilometres from the Iranian border. It's also 380 kilometres northeast of Oman, across the Arabian Sea. A Chinese government business manages the port.
Gwadar Port - Background
In August 2015, the Chinese government reported the approval of previously announced concessionary loans for numerous projects in Gwadar, totalling 140 million worth East Bay Expressway projects, 360 million worth installations of breakwaters in Gwadar, and 100 million worth 300-bed hospitals in Gwadar.
Gwadar Port - Geopolitical Impact on India
Energy security is a significant worry for China as the world's largest oil importer. The United States Navy often patrols the sea routes used to obtain Middle Eastern and African oil. The Strait of Malacca is China's quickest marine trade route to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. At least 80% of its energy imports from the Middle East and Africa come through the Malacca Straits.
Energy imports through the Straits of Malacca could be suspended if China is attacked by a state or non-state actor, paralyzing the Chinese economy in a scenario known as the "Malacca Dilemma."
Possible vulnerabilities could arise from a downturn in India-China relations and China's potential vulnerabilities from the US Navy. From its station on Great Nicobar Island, the Indian Navy has recently boosted maritime surveillance of the Straits of Malacca region. India is concerned about a Chinese "String of Pearls" encircling the country.
In a conflict, India may obstruct Chinese shipments through the straits. Chinese interest in Pakistan's Gwadar Port could be boosted by Indian maritime surveillance in the Andaman Sea.
India's Response towards the Construction of Gwadar Port
Gwadar Port is part of China's String of Pearl policy, which aims to preserve Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean while also posing a danger to Indian interests. India retaliated by constructing Chabahar Port, which is only 76 nautical miles from Pakistan's Gwadar Port, built by the Chinese.
India decided to build Chabahar Port primarily to give trade connectivity to Afghanistan, Central Asian countries, and Russia. India assumed control of the Port in 2018. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and the Chabahar Special Economic Zone.
The Indian government has pledged to build the Chabahar-Hajigak corridor. This is significant since the Afghan government recently awarded Indian businesses the Hajigak iron and steel project.
Chabahar Port also has direct access to Tajikistan's Farkhor Air Force Base, jointly operated by the Indian and Tajik air forces. India would be connected to the International North-South Transport Corridor through Chabahar Port.
The Indian government has taken several steps to counter China's strategic depth gained due to its operations at Gwadar Port in Pakistan, which is part of a bigger Chinese plan in the Indian Ocean. it is important to know about the Gwadar Port as it has great strategic importance.
FAQs on Gwadar Port
Q1. When did Gwadar, the city of Gwadar Port, become a part of Pakistan?
Gwadar, the city of Gwadar Port, became a part of Pakistan on 8th December 1958.
Q2. From which country did Pakistan buy the Gwadar Enclave that has the Gwadar Port?
Pakistan bought the Gwadar Enclave from Oman and got the Gwadar Port too.
Q3. Why is the Gwadar Port important for Pakistan?
The Gwadar Port is located at the cross-junction of international sea shipping and oil trade routes, and hence it is pretty essential for Pakistan.
Q4. Which port did India build in retaliation to the Gwadar Port?
India built the Chabahar port in retaliation to the Gwadar Port.