Gwadar Port
Gwadar Portwikimedia commons

Pakistan, as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, has leased the Gwadar port to China for 43 years.

The port, which is a trade free zone, has been handed to China Overseas Holdings Limited, which is a state-run company.

The port will link China to the Persian Gulf, making it a key route for transporting oil, as it is placed next to the Strait of Hormuz.

Hormuz is a chokepoint for 20% of international crude oil and liquefied fuels, reports The Diplomat.

US Department of Defense states that 82% of all Chinese crude oil imports and 30% of natural gas imports rely on this route, reports The Diplomat.

The port which is in Balochistan, is however a matter of concern for China as the security situation in the area is questionable.

To assuage the Chinese contractors and for the safety of Chinese workers who will be working on the CPEC projects, Pakistan's chief of naval staff, Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah has promised to protect the area "against all asymmetric threats under the prevalent precarious internal and external security environment."

"Companies from China and Pakistan will continue to build and develop the port following the principle of conducting consultations on an equal footing and pursuing win-win results," said Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

China plans to build a railway line connecting Xinjiang, in western China, with Gwadar, reports The People's Daily

The 2,000 acres of land that belongs to the port's economic zone will connect the Himalayan border of China to Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast.