Thursday, June 8, 2023

Chabahar Port vs Gwadar Port – Can Indian Chabahar Port Compete Against Chinese Funded Gwadar Port?

Chabahar Port vs Gwadar Port has been a hot topic of discussion between netizens on social sites. The purpose of Indian-Iranian Chabahar Port is very different from Chinese-Pakistani Gwadar Port, but the overall ambitions of both India and China are the same and i.e Business and Accessibility. A EurAsian Times analysis.

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The Chabahar Port in Iran is very important for India because of multiple reasons, and the biggest being its strategic location. After a series of disputes with the neighbouring countries i.e. China and Pakistan, India decided to divert its root to Middle East countries and diversify its interest to land-locked Afghanistan.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the Chabahar port was inaugurated by Iran’s president Hassan Ruhani on 3rd December 2018 and New Delhi recently got operational control of the strategic port. Through this port, India will realize its decade-old ambition of getting access to both Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Chabahar Port vs Gwadar Port

One port is in Iran and the other is in Pakistan. Iran’s Chabahar port is located at a distance of mere 70 km from Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. The growing rivalry of India with its neighbouring countries China and Pakistan has led to the development of Gwadar port by China in Pakistan.

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Through Gwadar, China is planning to enter the Arabian Sea and expand its maritime silk route. The Gwadar port is built for carrying greater tonnage of cargoes through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Chabahar port offers strategic land access to Afghanistan via Iran. Pakistan never allowed India to trade with Afghanistan using its land-route, which compelled New Delhi to explore alternate strategy. Hence, the Chabahar port was developed which completely bypasses Pakistan.

India is also hoping for access to the north-south economic corridor to increase its share with the five central Asian countries. Through Chabahar Port, India will definitely increase its presence both domestically as well as through economic and trade linkages. On the other hand, China already has access to large exports to Central Asia in trading activities.

Iranian have always viewed Chabahar and Gwadar port as not in competition but are sister ports. But India and China are contributing significantly towards the development of their respective ports as a part of their economic interventions in Middle East Countries.

For India, the building of port is a means of survival in competing for the world and especially against China. On the other hand, China is keen on retaining its presence and power in the Arabian Sea.

More News at EurAsian Times

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