Gulf gateway key to plans to ship oil overland to inland provinces
By Summer Zhen
A Chinese firm officially took control of Pakistan’s Gwadar Port free-trade zone on Wednesday, further cementing its role in the Gwader area, a gateway to oil-exporting Gulf countries, and analysts see the deal as a chance for China to change the oil import game.
Under the agreement, state-backed Chinese Overseas Ports will manage the free-trade zone on a 43-year lease. The formal handover signals the Chinese side’s control of all the port’s business affairs.
Gwadar port is a deep sea port that sits next to the Strait of Hormuz, the key oil route in and out of the Persian Gulf and it lies only 120km from the Iranian border.
As part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor scheme, China plans to make Gwadar a transportation hub by building a 3,000km railway linking Xinjiang, in western China, with Gwadar.
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