China having control of Gwadar a "matter of concern": Antony

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Bangalore, Feb 6: The recent handover of Pakistan's strategic port Gwadar to China is a worrisome development, Defence Minister AK Antony said here today.

While interacting with newspersons after inaugurating the Aero India 2013 show, he admitted: "In one sentence, it is a matter of concern for us." Making it clear that he was in no mood to say anything more on this matter, Antony pointed out that his answer is "very straightforward and simple."

The defence minister's brevity is understandable. Though several countries including the United States and Iran could be affected by Islamabad's decision, the impact on Delhi's interests will definitely be the greatest.

On Jan 30, Pakistan abruptly cancelled the contract with Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) that had been managing Gwadar for the past five years and gave China control over the port. Beijing had earlier provided aid to Islamabad for developing the port that is located on the Arabian Sea.

AK Antony

Delhi was already concerned by the setting up of a Chinese-funded port in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh too has asked China for help to establish a port. Military analysts aver that Beijing is planning to gradually encicle India.

Despite such apprehensions, Chinese companies were allowed for the first time to take part in the Aero India show. This is not all that surprising as Delhi has been cooperating militarily with Beijing since Sep 2012.

However, memories of the 1962 war are still fresh in India and Beijing's moves are viewed with a great deal of suspicion in Delhi.

OneIndia News 

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