China plans Karakoram rail link to Pak — and the Arabian Sea

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by anoop_mig25, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china-plans-karakoram-rail-link-to-pak-and-the-arabian-sea/643303/0

    By C. Raja Mohan
    Posted: Wed Jul 07 2010,New Delhi.

    After bringing a rail line close to the Indian border with Tibet, China is gearing to push a rail link across the Karakoram into Pakistan through the Gilgit-Baltistan region that is part of the original state of Jammu and Kashmir.
    According to reports from Pakistan, Beijing and Islamabad are likely to sign an MoU for a feasibility study on building the trans-Karakoram railway line during President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to China starting Tuesday.

    As the first train track across the Great Himalayas, the line running nearly 700 km from Kashgar in Xinjiang province to Havelian near Rawalpindi in northern Pakistan through the Khunjerab Pass, will transform the geopolitics of western China and the subcontinent.

    Given its claim to sovereignty over the entire state of J&K, India has naturally objected to the Chinese economic and infrastructure projects, including the Karakoram highway, in parts of the state under Pakistan’s control.

    Over the longer term though, India will have to think more strategically about the consequences of the emerging connectivity between western China and the subcontinent through projects sponsored by Beijing.

    For, China has a plan to expand its Tibet rail road into Nepal. It is expanding roadways between its Yunnan province and northern Myanmar and exploring the prospects for a rail link. Afghanistan too has been pressing Beijing to develop transportation routes between the two nations through the Wakhan corridor. Meanwhile, there is growing support in the region and beyond for trans-Asian road and rail networks.

    The proposal for a rail link between landlocked Xinjiang in China’s far west and the Arabian Sea through Pakistan has been under discussion for some years. Chinese companies have apparently completed a pre-feasibility study on a rail project that must cross one of the most challenging terrains in the world.

    If the two sides take the political decision to go ahead with the project during Zardari’s visit, a consortium of Chinese companies is likely to be constituted to explore in detail the engineering and financial aspects of the project.

    While the technical aspects of the trans-Karakoram rail link are daunting, there is no denying the Chinese audacity in embracing projects that are grand in conception, challenging in their execution, and consequential in their impact.

    During the 1970s, long before China had become rich, the People’s Liberation Army had built at great cost the Karakoram highway between Xinjiang and northern Pakistan. The self-assurance of Chinese engineers and the geopolitical ambition of Beijing’s security establishment have grown manifold since.

    While India’s objections have not had much impact on either China or Pakistan, other developments have cast a shadow over some of the trans-Karakoram projects. The unstable terrain of the Karakorams demands costly upkeep of the highway, repeatedly damaged by landslides and formation of temporary lakes.

    At the political level, China has been concerned about growing links between Islamist and separatist movements in the Xinjiang province on the one hand and the terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other.

    As a result, China had to often shut down the Karakoram highway. In recent months, Beijing has been pressing Islamabad to crack down hard on anti-Chinese extremist groups taking shelter on Pakistani soil.

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    And can do much either:angry_10::angry_10::angry_10::angry_10::angry_10:
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Right now miles of karakoram highway is under Hunza lake.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Chinese rail link to Pak matter of concern: India


    NEW DELHI: India expressed "concern" over China's plans to have a rail link with Pakistan through the Karakoram ranges, but said it was doing its own preparations to counter such a move.

    "It is definitely a matter of concern. But we are taking our counter measures and we are doing our own preparation," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters here.

    He was responding to a question on the Chinese plans to build the rail link to Pakistan and reach the Arabian Sea via Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pak-occupied Kashmir.

    Raju said both China and Pakistan had made it "very apparent" that they were "working closely together and cooperating closely" on defence and strategic issues.

    China has already built a rail line up to the Indian borders along the Tibetan plateau and now the plan is to have the rail link to Pakistan and reach the Arabian Sea.

    Media reports had suggested that a Memorandum of Understanding for the rail link will be signed between Beijing and Islamabad soon.
     
  5. CS1.6

    CS1.6 Regular Member

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    as long as the railway is located on the territory of China's and Pakistan's, i dont think India should say anything about it.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If one looks at the Highway and train link from Gwadar to China from the Chinese strategic point of view, it is an absolute essential for China.

    China is very sensitive about the Indian Ocean seaways and is well aware that the US Navy, in conjunction with the Indian and Singapore Navies can block the Indian Ocean at the Straits of Malacca. The Straits of Hormuz can be blocked by the USN and IN. India has developed Iran's Chabahar port.

    Therefore, it is essential for China to traverse to the minimum extent the Indian Ocean and maintain the best of relations with the Middle East nations, including Iran. By building the instant rail link through Pakistan and along the Karakorum Highway, it will ensure that once the oil and other strategic materiel are unloaded from ships at Gwadar, the strategic materiel will move by rail in relative safety and without any interdiction by any foreign powers. China is also keen that the Iran Pakistan oil link is established. This will ensure that oil can be transhipped to Pakistan without using the sea route and then transferred to the Pak China rail link! Thus, even the Straits of Hormuz is avoided.

    Likewise, the port at Kyauk Phyu in Myanmar is to connect the new 1,950-km highway through Burma directly to Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province. This is being undertaken by Asia World Company, a Burmese firm linked with Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese business interests, and named in the past by US investigators in connection with drug smuggling. The Kyauk Phyu port will have a water depth of 20 meters, said Xinhua, making it capable of handling the biggest container ships that currently dock at the world’s largest and busiest ports. With that water depth, the port will be able to handle even larger vessels than in China’s busiest port, Shanghai. The Kyauk Phyu port will be linked with a new highway planned between Yunnan’s Kunming and the far western Burmese port of Sittwe via Mandalay with a spur o¬nto Ramree Island.

    China has been working overtime to ensure her strategic interest and that too with great zeal!
     
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  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This will stop USA from blocking access highly doubt it??
     
  8. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Map of the area.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    can't wait for the completion of connection to the 2 gateways in Burma and Pakistan under construction.

    strategically that'll give China another 'coast' without going through Malacca, and boost the landlocked Southwest. Likewise China has a 30-year concession for developement at Rajin Port with a rail link of N Korea that gives China an access to Japan Sea.

    I've been Kunming Capital of Yunnan, which is already a hub for interactions with ASEAN especially Burmese, Thai, and Vietnamese.

    Pictures of lovely Kunming - our 'City of Spring' - the best resort in Summer
    http://www.google.com.hk/imglanding...0Q9QEwAQ&start=0#tbnid=GxIzEfpJC2XYLM&start=7
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    India should not allow it because it is being constructed in PoK which is still a disputed land and so cannot be used for International trade. India should try to block it by all means available to it though I doubt if we are really capable to stop it.
     
  11. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-says-strategic-ties-with-Pakistan-not-directed-against-anyone/articleshow/6144180.cms

    BEIJING: China continued to be reluctant to come out with a major sop that would help Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari recover from the political crisis he is facing on his home turf. The Chinese foreign ministry was careful on Thursday not to give any indication that it was going to meet Zardari’s requests for two nuclear reactors and a railway link between the two countries.

    In fact, Beijing seemed more concerned about India’s possible reactions. "Our cooperation is traditionally beneficial and not targeted against any third country. Such cooperation is not only beneficial for the two countries but also great for the peace and prosperity of the region," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

    The Pakistani president desperately needs a political gesture from Beijing for him to demonstrate his success back home. The Chinese leadership was not forthcoming until Thursday evening.

    "China and Pakistan are strategic partners enjoying profound traditional friendship. We have shared deepening cooperation across the board," Qing said without directly replying a question on whether China will build a rail link between the two countries.
    Zardari is expected to push the Chinese leadership to make a politically useful announcement over the next two days in Beijing. He used his meetings with premier Wen Jiabao and Jin Qinglin, Chairman of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), on Thursday to press for rail connectivity.

    The Pakistani president cited the recent disruption in the Karakoram Highway due to landslides as one of the reasons for establishing a railway line and an oil pipeline that would link the China-made Gwadar port to Chinese cities. He also pleaded for assistance to broaden the Karakoram highway at a cost of $500 million.

    Reports in the Pakistani media have suggested that a feasibility study has already been ordered for the 750-km railway line that will pass through the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region. Besides, Pakistan is getting Chinese assistance for improvement and up gradation of 335 km long Khunjrab-Raikot section of the Karokoram Highway, which is expected to be completed in 2012.

    The proposed rail link that would pass close to the Indian border with Pakistan has caused some worries in New Delhi with the External Affairs Minister S M Krishna saying, "We are closely watching what is happening." M M Pallam Raju, the Minister of State for Defence recently said the issue is a matter of concern. "But we are taking our counter measures and we are doing our own preparation."
     
  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    too bad, China is reluctant...

    got to make quick and decisive moves to kick off the rail link .

    or China is hesitating, emmmmm this Zardari guy is not in control of Pak house affairs? or feasibility study reveals some engineering difficulty??

    it's not an obstacle through PoK since Ind. has done lot of things in IoK. The best way for P and I to resolve disputes is to make their line of actual control permanent borders.
     
  13. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    i think can`t do anything to prevent the link except rasing concerns . i do no`t why. when we have financial powers then at-least we should try it but our babus are expert at raising concern . while china is going with full speed to implement & pakistan is dragging us in international court for using its share of water while we have ti-pd:angry_10: response
     
  14. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    YEH WE TO WANT TO MAKE loc permanent borders but do not know why Pakistan resist this idea. they know they have strategic area under their control . they must make use of it so that both region can flourish. whats use of fighting for rest of region waste their as well our resources.IF its for water then it think we have already a international treaty on it plus there can be mutual group which can continuously monitor flow/level/requirement of water in both regions AND MAKE NECESSARY changes/modifications in future as required

    And regarding china-pak rail has nothing to do with whether ZARDARI IS POWERFULL OR NOT. plz remember he is president of pakistan while actual power lies with pime minister(army chief) if so they desire +china thinks its beneficial to them in long run then railway connectivity would establish between them.Nobody can stop it neither the presence/absence of Zardai nor india/usa
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  15. Zaki

    Zaki Regular Member

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    we keep hearing that China will stop supporting Pakistan and then we keep hearing about another project of Pak-China
    do not worry friends, everybody deserve to progress, i personally is always happy when i see development projects in India. Its a good scene and usually improving the lives of Poor peoples who are nothing but innocents
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If the railway line is to go through Afghanistan, then maybe there is some hesitation since Afghanistan and Pashtuns are historically people of their own will and they are not known to conform to what others dictate.

    Therefore, maybe it could be termed as 'quixotic' and sinking a fortune to build the railway could be making those involved a trifle queasy.

    If the railway comes into being, it will be a very fascinating and picturesque journey to go through the rugged beauty of Afghanistan, East Turkmenistan and into Tibet and then take the train from Lhasa to China.
     
  17. Zaki

    Zaki Regular Member

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    No it is not going in Afghanistan. Directly from Pakistan into China
     

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