China on Tuesday rejected speculations that it was planning to establish a military base in Balochistan’s Gwadar district, Indian news outlet NDTV reported.
In June 2017, a Pentagon report had singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base. The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that read: “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.”
China had categorically denied the report at the time.
According to speculations in regional media, China was planning to build a military base in the Jiwani area of Gwadar district, which is close to Iran’s Chabahar port being jointly developed by India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang in his daily briefing on Tuesday termed the media reports as “unnecessary” speculations.
“As you know building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” he said, adding, “China and Pakistan are also making efforts to build the CPEC which is in the common interests of the countries along the route. I don’t think it is necessary for the outside world to make too many guesses in this regard.”
Beijing had already been denying such reports in the past. It had “firmly opposed” the Pentagon report last year, saying that the Chinese government was a force for safeguarding peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
In her response to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying had said: “We hope the US side will put aside the Cold War mentality, view China’s military development in an objective and rational manner, and take concrete actions to maintain steady growth of the military relationship between the two countries.”