China building high-security compound at Gwadar to establish naval base: Reports

Bangladsh Live News | @banglalivenews | 05 Jun 2020

Photo courtesy: Civil Engineering from Space Twitter page

With an eye on dominating the region and taking an opportunity of the moment when the world is busy combating COVID-19, China is secretly building a high-security compound near Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan province which it will probably use for naval base, media reports said.

Experts believe China is aiming to strengthen its foothold in the Indian Ocean.

Analysts have been watching for the first signs of a long-expected Chinese naval base at Gwadar in Pakistan.

The base, to complement an elaborate one in Djibouti, would strengthen China’s foothold in the Indian Ocean. Recent satellite images appear to show that several new complexes have been built in the last few years. One of them, identified as being used by a Chinese company involved in port development, has unusually high security, reports Forbes.

Located at the western end of Pakistan’s coast, Gwadar is expected to be a major port in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This will allow Chinese goods to take shortcut through Pakistan, instead of sailing all the way around South Asia. China was first reported to be planning a naval base there in January 2018. While the plan has never been confirmed officially, it would be a natural path, reports the magazine.

The high-security compound has been identified as being used by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC Ltd), Forbes reports.

This is a majority state-owned company that is heavily involved in many Chinese civil engineering projects. While some degree of security is normal in the region, the level of security seen here is extensive, reports the magazine.

However, this is not the only region witnessing such a development.

Civil Engineering from Space tweeted images of the port and posted: "THREAD - 1. #Civil_Engineering From Space - The 19 km Gwadar East Bay Expressway in #Pakistan. Under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the 6 lanes road will connect N10 National Highway (Makran Coastal Highway) with Gwadar Free Zone and Gwadar Port. #CIVINT."

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