Gwadar: China’s Future Gateway to the Middle East


  • Ishtiaq Ahmad Planning Commission


Gwadar,, China,, Pakistan,, Central Asia,, Middle East, BRI,, SCO,


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, completed a decade in July 2023. During this time, it has enabled Pakistan to overcome critical gaps in energy, transportation and communication. The CPEC’s long-term plan is to develop Pakistan’s industrial capacity and contribute to its emergence as a trading hub between China and the Middle East. The deep-sea seaport of Gwadar in the Arabian Sea would play an instrumental role in this respect due to its proximity with the strategic sea-lanes for global energy trade in the Persian Gulf. This article offers a critical analysis of CPEC’s strategic value for Pakistan’s economic development and regional connectivity, especially Gwadar’s valuable role in this regard. The discussion ahead covers the key challenges and opportunities concerning CPEC, China’s economic profile in Central Asia and the Gulf, and the emerging interest among oil-rich Gulf for investment in Gwadar. The article concludes with a narration of CPEC’s significance for China, Pakistan and regional stakeholders, and Gwadar’s future potential as a regional trading hub and a strategic outpost for China.  



How to Cite

Ahmad, I. (2024). Gwadar: China’s Future Gateway to the Middle East . Strategic Studies, 43(2), 1–20.