China took control Monday of a strategic Pakistani port on the Arabian Sea, as part of a drive to secure energy and maritime routes that also gives it a potential naval base, sparking Indian concern.
The Pakistani cabinet approved the transfer of Gwadar, currently a commercial failure cut off from the national road network, from Singapore's PSA International to the state-owned China company on January 30.
The Pakistanis pitched the deal as offering an energy and trade corridor that would connect China to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for a third of the world's traded oil, overland through an expanded Karakoram Highway.
China paid about 75 percent of the initial $250 million used to build the port but in 2007 PSA International won a 40-year operating lease.
Then-ruler Pervez Musharraf was reportedly unwilling to upset Washington by giving control of the port to the Chinese.