India has downplayed a US report which warned that China could set up military bases in Pakistan. Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said India has its own assessment and will not make any strategy on the basis of the US report.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — The US report claimed that expanding international economic interests are forcing China to operate in more distant maritime environments to protect its interests.
“It is an assessment which is there in the US report. We have our own assessments. Let us see what happens in the future,” Admiral Lanba said on the report released by US Department of Defense on China’s military prowess this week.
“China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan,” report added.
The Chinese facility in Djibouti has already emerged as a full-fledged 'military base', notwithstanding what nomenclature Beijing accords to it. Considering the approximately $57 billion investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy projects — part of One Belt, One Road, China is most likely to strengthen its military capability in Gwadar. It is considered that after completing CPEC road projects, China can bypass the Strait of Malacca, if and when the need arises, and can offload energy products at Gwadar and transported to China through CPEC. But for India, a military base at Gwadar may have severe strategic ramifications.
“For India, the strategic ramifications are rather grave. A decade ago, India's security establishment was assessing its military preparedness to deal with a 'two-front scenario' in terms of China (in the north) and Pakistan (in the west). Today, with China's ongoing deployment of the PLA security forces along the CPEC, and the imminent PLA Navy deployment at Gwadar to secure the maritime route, the interpretation of 'two front' scenario may soon change to 'China' (in the north) and 'China and Pakistan' (in the west),” Captain Gurpreet S Khurana (Indian Navy), Executive Director, National Maritime Foundation (NMF), told Sputnik.
Meanwhile, China has claimed its logistics facility in Djibouti is to ensure the Chinese forces carrying out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, and performing humanitarian aid missions, will refresh here. China has firmly discarded the report and termed it a “Cold-War mentality” product.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.