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ForumIAS™ Featured: Gwadar Port in Pakistan Transferred to China : Indo-Pakistan-China Relations

edited March 2013 in Featured
Hello friends :-)
I shall be sharing with you my take on the External Affairs. I shall try to come out with one post every week on Monday.

Did you hear about Gwadar port, in Pakistan, being transferred to China?
This issue can be seen briefly in 6 parts :-

1. What is Gwadar Port?
2. Why is it important?
3. The change of control
4. How will China gain from it?
5. Why is USA worried about it?
6. What are the implications for India?


1. What is Gwadar Port?

Gwadar port is a port in Western Pakistan in the province of Baluchistan. It was built in 2007 with the help of Chinese funding :-
image

2. Why is it important?
a) Strategic location to the West of India
b) It is the westernmost pearl in the Chinese String of Pearls, apart from Hambantota, Chittagong, Sittwe & Kra Canal
image

image

c) Acquiring this would lead to full encirclement of India.

3. The change of control
The port was being operated by Singapore's PSA for the past 5 years and was supposed to do so for next 45 years. Pakistan has now allowed it to transfer control to Chinese Overseas Port Holdings Limited Company

4. How will China gain from it?
a) It becomes part of transport Corridor to carry Middle East Oil from Gulf to Western China
b) It will give China land based supply port (unlike Sri Lanka's Hambantota), outside the control of US Navy, which is powerful.
c) Will give strategic edge to China

5. Why is USA worried about it?
a) It sees China's growing naval presence in Indian Ocean as destabilizing its own position - also a threat to its 5th fleet in Middle East
image

b) USA's another enemy Iran is only 90km from the Gwadar port.
c) China's naval presence will make it influential in the World Oil trade happening through the Strait of Hormuz, where USA's presence and will is unchallenged.

6. What are the implications for India?
a) Pakistan now has a developed port far from the reach of Indian Navy, guarded by PRC.
b) China now has a listening post to observe Indian Navy around Persian Gulf & Gulf of Aden
c) China is now closer to Strait of Hormuz, that control India's oils supply and is central to India's Energy Security.
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Comments

  • Awesome work :-) Thanks :-)
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • edited March 2013
    @vkmenon
    Thanks for the info, with such nice presentation.
    It would be helpful if you could throw some light on India's response/reaction to above scenario.

    I know of two counter strategies,
    1- Arc of democracy(India-US-Japan-Aus. Recently Aus backed out due to pressure from China).
    2- Some diamond formation with countries like Mongolia, Tajikistan etc (Src- CST foreign policy big book).

    I request you to throw some more light on the above 2 counter strategies too.

    One more thing, Pak looks like just playing a second fiddle to china in such a scenario.
    If that is what it really is, some insights into handling that situation, or your viewpoint on the same. Tia. :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • As far as I know, the Arch of democracy is actual, and if you take a close look at it, while the String of Pearls theory might not be so powerful, the encirclement of China by India looks more real and more powerful an idea, isn't it?
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • edited March 2013
    As far as I know, the Arch of democracy is actual, and if you take a close look at it, while the String of Pearls theory might not be so powerful, the encirclement of China by India looks more real and more powerful an idea, isn't it?
    Yeah true, but thing is, you never know how much trust to put in those western allies.

    If you see China's String of pearls, it is mostly handled single handedly by China, with all the Developing countries, ready to go to anyone who would be ready to give them support in return of strategic benefits.
    I personally find this a lil worrying from India's perspective.

    But given the economic scenario, I think we are safe for the next 4-5 years or so.

    One more development, which is worth taking into account is that, China has recently ordered 24 SU-35 fighter planes from RUSSIA (Our most trusted defence partner), which are expected to be better equipped and more efficient than our fighter planes, & the new turn of developments which cannot be ignored given the present scenario, where India gave orders to french rafaels(supposedly less efficient than SU-35 from Russia), in a competitive bidding which included Russia too.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @vkmenon thanks a lot!
    Could someone please elaborate on the 'arch of democracy' as well? I have only a vague idea. Thank you.
  • @vkmenon
    thanks alot...very nice peace...
    CSE-2015 .
    Score well enough in the Prelims, so that you don't have to jump in the cutoff speculation market after 6pm 23rd Aug, instead start practising mock essays and GS-1,2,3,4.
  • edited March 2013
    This is the "Diamond formation" mentioned in earlier post,

    http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-india-to-counter-chinas-threat-by-necklace-of-diamonds/20120131.htm

    But I'm not able to get more solid info about it, like countries involved & all (Not even able to locate it in that book now. :( ). Maybe I read it somewhere else, I dont remember.
    If someone has any info about it, or anything relevant, plz post it here.
    Tia. :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • One more thing I would like to add is that it ll help China in avoiding the Malacca Strait and other dangerous maritime routes through the South China Sea!
    Optional-Pub Ad
  • edited March 2013
    One more thing I would like to add is that it ll help China in avoiding the Malacca Strait and other dangerous maritime routes through the South China Sea!
    How would Gwador port help in this?
    Even if Gwador will have land based establishments. Gwador, Hambantota, Sittwe or Chittagong wouldn help in Malacca strait actually, its pretty far & hostile to Chinese establishments I believe.

    It looks like the Achillees's heel of China, at present.

    Could someone explain this situation in a more elaborate manner?
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    @abhinrao24 let me explain;

    China will construct a pipeline across Pakistan till the Gwadar port. Oil that is being imported from Arab countries will be offloaded at Gwadar, taken by pipeline to west China. It need not go all the way through Indian ocean via malacca strait and then again re directed to west China.

    Benefits:

    1. Easy access of oil to west china.
    2. Low transportation cost.
    3. Indian ocean trade route - India has strategic presence, China will get to avoid this.
    4. Gwadar will also ensure Chinese presence in Arabian Sea, in case of War it can block crucial oil imports of India.
  • @abhinrao24 they'll be able to lay pipelines from gwadar and sittwe. China's already been working on road connectivity with both countries, I.e. karakoram highway and friendship road. Though I wonder how pakistan will manage to secure a pipeline across its full length from terrorist threats.
  • @Partho
    Thanks. :)
    Have they announced/taken any decisions about construction of such a pipeline to West China?
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    @abhinrao24 they'll be able to lay pipelines from gwadar and sittwe. China's already been working on road connectivity with both countries, I.e. karakoram highway and friendship road. Though I wonder how pakistan will manage to secure a pipeline across its full length from terrorist threats.
    Exactly! Was just framing a question on these lines. :)
    The Chinese pipeline plan is looking good on paper. Ll have to keep looking as to how things will unwind.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @abhinrao24 Iran Pakistan pipeline will be extended till China!

    China will have 2 routes;

    1. Direct from Iran via Pakistan to China.
    2. From other gulf countries - Gwadar - Above pipeline - China.
  • Copy paste from my notes:

    Gwadar offers China several economic and military advantages. China can directly ship its oil supplies from Iran via the Iran-Pakistan pipeline (erstwhile Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project) or other Gulf states through the Gwadar port. In fact Pakistan has offered China the option to build a 1500 kilometers pipeline from Gwadar to Xinjiang in western China. Apparently, China is also set to ‘re-launch the Gwadar oil refinery project’ that had been put on hold in 2009 due to the fear of attacks by the separatist elements in Baluchistan who had kidnapped few Chinese engineers.
  • Damn this was in news in Oct. Now I know how I missed it.
    Was not used to reading newspapers then.
    Need to work on the basics!

    Thanks for the help guys! :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @abhinrao24 Lol! How do you know it was in Oct?
  • Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering.
  • @abhinrao24 Yes, this article explains it all :)
  • @Partho @Anurag_Sinha
    Really good source guys. ICWA Director. :)

    Anyway how many websites do you follow?
    I'm yet to make a start here, really lagging behind a lot in my GS prep.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • bus ipsc, hindu indian express. itna thik se hojaye wahi bahut hoga. iske b articles nahi padh pata insaan dhang se :P
    Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering.
  • bus ipsc, hindu indian express. itna thik se hojaye wahi bahut hoga. iske b articles nahi padh pata insaan dhang se :P
    Couldnt agree more! :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was originally planned to extend from Pakistan to India in 1993. The United States has been opposing the project because of Tehran's nuclear ambitions. After India's withdrawal in 2009, Beijing showed interest to join the project and to build an Iran-Pakistan-China gas pipeline, which could provide a secure overland gas supply.

    Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/a-great-game-begins-as-china-takes-control-of-gwadar-port#ixzz2Ni2e5L3g

    What was India doing? How do you intrepret this, guys?
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"


  • What is TAPI Pipeline?

    A 1680 km pipeline from Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI)
    It’ll become operational by 2018.
    It will carry 90 million metric standard cubic meters a day for a 30 year period.
    India has to pay a transit fee to Pakistan and Afghanistan as the pipeline passes through these nations.

    Route of this piepline

    The pipeline starts from the Dauletabad Oil fields in Turkmenistan and will move into Afghanistan along a highway running from Herat to Kandahar and it will then enter Pakistan via Quetta, Multan and from there to Fazilka (located at the Indo-Pak border) in India.

    What does Turkmenistan gain from this?

    Turkmenistan holds 4 percent of the gas reserves of the world. It only exports gas to Russia, but with the TAPI pipeline, it will be able to diversify its exports to nations like India, Pakistan etc.
    Turkmenistan will earn a lot of revenue by exporting gas through the pipeline

    What does Pakistan Gain?

    Moreover the potential extension of the pipeline to the Gwadar Port in Pakistan will enable Pakistan to export gas to several countries.

    What does Afghanistan Gain?

    Afghanistan will earn transit fees as the pipeline passes through the country.

    What is in for India?

    India will benefit a lot as it will receive 38 million standard cubic meters of gas per day improving India’s energy security.
    New opportunities to the development of gas and engineering industries of the countries involved in the project.
    The project will also help to foster regional connectivity between the countries involved, thus resulting in regional integration.

    What’re the Obstacles to TAPI pipeline

    Regional instability, especially in the AF-PAK region continues to haunt the pipeline. The planned route of the 1800 km pipeline will pass through 735 km of southern and western Afghanistan, regions which are hotbeds of terrorism. Moreover with the proposed withdrawal of NATO (especially US) forces from Afghanistan, the ability of Afghanistan to maintain its security comes into question.

    The pipeline will also pass through Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan Province, a region suffering from separatist and sectarian violence for the past 9 years. Moreover poorly guarded oil/gas pipelines in the region have been favourite targets of ethnic Baluch separatists fighting the Pakistan army.

    Any unexpected rupture in Indo-Pakistan relationships can put the TAPI project into jeopardy.
    A lot of money is needed to finance this project. The cost of the project is estimated to be 12 billion Dollars. Asian Development Bank has already provided a few million Dollars as technical assistance, however more money is required to finance this costly project, which is difficult to get as foreign investors (MNCs, oil companies) are wary of investing in the AF-PAK region.

    What is the Response of the US to TAPI project?

    The US supports this project because it will be a good alternative to a proposed Indo-Pakistan-Iranian pipeline (IPI), which has been stalled for quiet some time due to pressure from the US against going through with the deal, moreover gas can be used as an alternative to petrol, so perhaps it will lessen India’s dependence on oil and in turn reduce its oil imports.
    Moreover it will help US in isolating Iran.
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