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China denies plans to set up military base in Pakistan

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
By K J M Varma

Beijing: China yesterday denied as "unnecessary" speculation reports that it was planning to build a military base at Jiwani in Pakistan's Balochistan province close to the strategic Chabahar port, which is being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

According to reports, Pakistan may allow China to build the military base in Jiwani which is also close the Gwadar port being developed by Beijing.

The Global Times quoted a Washington Times report that China is in talks with Pakistan to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.

"I am not aware of what you mentioned," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media when asked to comment on the report. The media in China and abroad said that Pakistan offered the key location to China as a retaliation to US President Donald Trump’s New Year Day criticism of Islamabad for not cracking down on terrorist safe havens in the country.

The Chinese media has been speculating that Trump's efforts to step up pressure on Pakistan may move it closer to Islamabad as Beijing is involved in a number of projects in the country under the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

"As you know building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," Lu said.

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