Apr 15, Colombo: China's naval ships in the Indian Ocean may dock in Pakistan's Gwadar port, which has been taken over by a Chinese firm, for maintenance and replenishments after the new Sri Lankan government declined permission for Chinese vessels to dock in the country, according to a report in Business Standard.
The report said, Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at Shanghai Institute for International Studies told state-run Global Times that the Gwadar port will also guarantee China's naval ships' maintenance and supply in the Indian Ocean.
"The move is widely seen as crucial for China, especially as it is unlikely that Sri Lanka will open its ports to Chinese naval ships," Zhao has been quoted.
Sri Lanka's new government of President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to improve its relations with India and has reversed his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa's policy of allowing Chinese submarines to dock in Colombo.
Zhao said the Gwadar port will serve as a major route to the Indian Ocean for Chinese goods, which will have far-reaching significance for China's Xinjiang region's economic development.
The port will formally commence operations by a Chinese company this month which is projected as a key transportation hub of the planned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.