Pakistan wants China to build it a naval base

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Islamabad, May 22: Carrying on with renewed vigour to strengthen the ties with China, Pakistan on May 21 said that it wants the Communist governed country to build for it a naval base. The sudden thrust on improving the relations further with China comes as the ties with the United States falter.

The announcement was done a day after the Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani returned from his four-day visit to China,

Referring to a deep-water port in the country's southwestern region, Ahmad Mukhtar, the Defence Minister of Pakistan said in a statement, "We would be ... grateful to the Chinese government if a naval base is ... constructed at the site of Gwadar for Pakistan."

The statement was unclear if Pakistan wanted China to build the naval base at the port in the state of Baluchistan. The port which was inaugurated in 2007, has seen the Chinese government invest $200 million in the first phase of its construction.

There is also a political angle to the development of the ties between the two countries as both of them are extremely wary of their neighbour and also seek to counter the heavy influence that US has over the region. That apart, Pakistan after the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abottabad near Islamabad, is also afraid of losing out the millions of dollars it gets in donation from the US and is making its moves desperately so that if it happens it has a back-up to sustain its fledgling economy.

The Chinese, it seems are also intent on playing good friends to Pakistan, in order to keep its population happy and avoid a spill over of the Pakistan-government backed terrorism in to its territory.

OneIndia News

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