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China hopes Chabahar port launch conducive to regional peace

Tuesday, December 05, 2017
By K J M Varma

Beijing: China today hoped that the launch of the strategic Chabahar port in Iran which enables India to directly trade with Afghanistan besides rivalling Pakistan's Gwadar port is conducive to regional peace and stability.

The first phase of the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman coast was inaugurated yesterday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, opening a new strategic route connecting Iran, India and Afghanistan while bypassing Pakistan, and reflecting growing convergence of interests among the three countries.

The port in Iran's Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nation's southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located around 80 kms from Chabahar.

Asked how China views the launch of the project, considering that China is investing heavily in Gwadar as part of the USD 50 billion China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on it directly. "As for Chabahar  port, I want to give you a principled answer. We welcome the development of friendly relations between regional countries.”
 

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