India and China in port energy battle


By utilising ports in nearby regions, China and India are fighting for access to oil and energy rich resources in the Middle East and Asia, respectively.

For India, Chabahar is the nearest port to the Indian Ocean, providing direct access to the Middle East and Central Asia.

India is developing a north-south trade corridor from Central Asia to Afghanistan through Chabahar, where goods could be shipped by sea to India.

The port is an economic gateway thanks to its location on the Gulf of Oman outside the Strait of Hormuz, a lane which connects the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

For China, Gwadar Port in Pakistan could be the end of the line for pipelines in its oil and gas supply chain from Africa and the Middle East, according to The National. .

Gwadar Port has not undergone any infrastructure developments, and is still without road and rail links with the rest of Pakistan. China, however, plans to invest US$10 billion to make the port fully functional.

Last year, it also signed a deal to build an US$18bn economic corridor linking Gwadar to Kashgar in China’s north-western Xinjiang province.

India also plans to establish its foothold in Central Asia to tap the region’s huge energy reserves without using the Afghanistan-Pakistan route.

The energy sector is another arena after the maritime competition for India and China, with India currently developing Project Mausam in a bid to countenance China’s Maritime Silk Road.

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