South Asia and Beyond

‘China’s So-Called White Elephant Port Projects Serve A Strategic Purpose’

NEW DELHI: From Kyaukpyu and Chittagong ports on India’s eastern seaboard to Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Gwadar in Pakistan, China has strategically invested all along this country’s maritime borders, with serious implications says Alok Bansal, former naval officer who has been writing and researching on India’s neighbourhood. He was on The Gist talking about his latest book Gwadar: A Chinese Gibraltar. In his view, the fact that neither Hambantota nor Gwadar have proved commercially viable is irrelevant. Beijing sees these ports as part of its larger design when its navy enters the Indian Ocean in force, with the aim of securing its energy supplies and limiting the Indian Navy’s ability to interdict them. Bansal also pointed to China’s naval base in Somalia, where it has naval assets including marine personnel, giving it another instrument to monitor the flow of its energy supplies. Tune in for more in this conversation with Alok Bansal, author of Gwadar: A Chinese Gibraltar.

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