China will seek to use Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which comes under the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, as a military base, according to an expert.
In an interview with Junaid Qureshi, Director of European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), Professor Matthew McCartney, an economics scholar at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), talked about the various issues related to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in general and its flagship project, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in particular.
He said it is inevitable that China would at some point "seek to use the port in Gwadar as a military base to ensure the steady influx of foreign resources, but China is a very pragmatic country and would be careful of any premature militarization of the port as that would result in widespread antagonization."
In 2015, China announced an economic project in Pakistan worth USD 46 billion. With the CPEC, Beijing aims to expand its influence in Pakistan and across Central and South Asia in order to counter the influence of the United States and India.
The CPEC would link Pakistan's southern Gwadar port (626 kilometres west of Karachi) in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China's western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail, and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.