India’s defence minister said Wednesday that New Delhi was concerned by Pakistan’s decision last month to transfer management of a strategically located deep-sea port to China.
“In one sentence, it is a matter of concern for us,” A.K. Antony told reporters in Bangalore where he inaugurated the Indian air show. “My answer is very straightforward and simple.”
On January 30, Pakistan approved a deal transferring management of Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea from a Singapore company to China, which provided most of the funding to build the facility in the province of Baluchistan.
China has been extending its influence with traditional allies of New Delhi around the Indian Ocean as well as in neighboring Pakistan, where it is the country’s main arms supplier.
Beijing also funded a port in Sri Lanka and has been approached to help build a similar facility in Bangladesh.
A high-level Chinese delegation from Beijing is attending the Aero India show for the first time in a sign of improving relations between Asia’s two biggest countries, which renewed their military cooperation last September.