PortandTerminal.com, May 11, 2019
Attack targets Chinese and other foreign investors at the strategic port city of Gwadar. The separatist group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claims responsibility
The attack targeted the Pearl Continental Hotel in the strategic port city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion-dollar Chinese infrastructure project. Reports state that at least one security guard at the hotel was killed along with all four of the gunmen. The attack comes just weeks after shooters killed 14 people, including 11 military personnel, in the region.
Militants in Balochistan, Pakistan strongly oppose Chinese investment in the region, saying it is of little benefit to local people. The separatist group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for today’s attack.
Gwadar is viewed by both Chinese and Pakistani officials as the strategic lynchpin of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, which aims to connect western China with the Arabian Sea and the rich resources in its region.
CPEC is just a part of China’s larger One Belt project. Specifically for CPEC, the purpose is to help China avoid the long sea route and directly have a road route from China to Gwadar and access to warm waters and from there to beyond. For this China is investing in infrastructure and power projects in Pakistan. Pakistan has received an estimated $62 billion in investment from China as part of CPEC.
Gwadar Port, a critical part of CPEC, is owned by the government-owned Gwadar Port Authority and operated by state-run Chinese firm — China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC).
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