23 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/12/2010
PAKISTAN – CHINA
Kashgar-Gwadar railway line would give Beijing a window on the Persian Gulf
Such a railway line would allay China’s greatest fear, a naval blockade that could stop oil shipments from Africa and the Middle East. However, major political, technical and financial problems remain, including India’s opposition.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese President Hu Jintao met last Wednesday during an official visit of the Pakistani leader to the mainland. They discussed plans to build a railway line from Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province to the Pakistani port of Gwadar. This could give China direct access to the Persian Gulf and make Pakistan an alternative route for Chinese goods and Middle East and African oil, which currently have to go around India.

The ambitious plan has been on the drawing boards for many years. It has advantages for both parties. Beijing would have direct access to the Arabian Sea; currently, 80 per cent of China’s oil travels through the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, an area plagued by piracy. More importantly, in case of war, China’s enemies could easily block its oil supplies. Pakistan would especially benefit from increased traffic in the Gwadar port, which was built with Chinese capital and assistance and opened in 2008.

Now the railway, which until recently appeared to be technically impossible because of the difficult terrain, at 5,000 metres above sea level, could be built thanks to the experience and knowledge China has accumulated during the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway.

However, Professor Wang Mengshu, a rail expert at Beijing Jiaotong University, said that the Kashgar-Gwadar project would be "more difficult than the one in Tibet" because Chinese surveyors and mappers will not have as good an understanding of the local terrain as they did in Tibet.

This would also create uncertainties about the cost, which Wang estimates would be around 200 million yuan (US$ 30 million) per kilometre, a bill too great even for Beijing.

In addition, India is not going to look favourably at closer Sino-Pakistani relations. New Delhi has always regarded Islamabad as its main adversary and Beijing as its main rival.

In fact, the proposed railway would have to pass through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a territory claimed by India, and would thus undermine the latter’s its claim. Indeed, important Indian newspapers have described the project as a serious threat to India's security.

However, the idea still has many supporters in China and many see its completion as only a matter of time.

People's Liberation Army Navy Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo said China relied too heavily on sea transportation for its oil imports. Hence, "We must either build a much more powerful navy or find alternative transportation channels."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/03/2013 PAKISTAN - CHINA
Sharif in Beijing to bring Arab oil to China
06/16/2008 CHINA – TIBET – INDIA
Torch relay arrival in Tibet postponed to a date to be decided
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/27/2011 CHINA – INDIA
Sino-Indian rivalry comes to the Arabian Sea
02/29/2012 CHINA
Kashgar, Uyghurs and police clash: 12 dead
04/24/2013 CHINA
Clashes between police and civilians in Xinjiang leave at least 21 dead

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.