China and Pakistan signed several agreements on the sidelines of the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, including the further development of Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is expected to become an important part of China’s plans to build new Silk Roads, Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald reports.
China began investing in Gwadar Port on the southeast coast of Pakistan in March 2002 and it is set to become a key hub for goods to be delivered to China both by sea and land routes in the future, the paper said.
This is because China and Pakistan are building an economic corridor between the two countries which includes the construction of highways, rail links, oil and gas pipelines and communication fiber optic cables.
The report said the corridor will help China link the planned Silk Road economic belt through Central Asia, and build a maritime Silk Road across the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, both of which were proposed by President Xi Jinping of China in late 2013.
Gwadar is just one of the foreign ports in which China has invested under the Silk Road initiatives, which cover regions with a population of 3.81 billion people. China was involved in three and five other port developments in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
After becoming an economy with excessive capacity, China began looking to expand its overseas market, and the focus on the countries along its planned Silk Roads resulted from Chinese industries’ inability to compete with its Western counterparts, the newspaper said.
China also reached a consensus with six Southeast Asian countries during the APEC Summit on building a China-Singapore economic corridor — another part of the Silk Road projects — the report noted.
Full article: APEC sees China make progress in Silk Road initiatives (Want China Times)