中国斥巨资推动巴基斯坦瓜达尔港迅速发展

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年10月26日 作者:美国之音古尔(Ayaz Gul)

中国正在财政和建设上付出前所未有的投入,帮助巴基斯坦位于阿拉伯海的战略要地瓜达尔港迅速发展为世界最大的中转及货物转运港之一。

该深水港坐落在石油富饶的中东、中亚和南亚这三个世界最具商业重要性的地区的交汇处。

北京将发展瓜达尔港作为中巴经济走廊建设的一部分。两国于中国国家主席习近平2015年访问伊斯兰堡时开启了这项计划历时15年的大型联合项目。

根据这项合作协议,巴基斯坦公路、铁路、管道、发电站、通讯以及工业区的建设或升级改造都在着手进行之中。初步估计,中方为此投入的资金为460亿美元。

该合作项目旨在将瓜达尔与包括穆斯林人口占多数的新疆地区在内的中国西部地区连接起来,使得中国这一内陆地区能够通过巴基斯坦距离更短且安全的通道进入全球贸易市场。通过中转贸易和转运设施,瓜达尔港还提供了与包括阿富汗在内的中亚内陆国家连接的最短通路。

中国的进口燃料和贸易货物将会装载在卡车上通过喀喇昆仑公路进出新疆。这条公路蜿蜒通过巴基斯坦北部被白雪覆盖的山顶。

瓜达尔港在年底前将有能力成为每年处理约100万吨货物的港口。一些官员期望随着扩建计划的实施,瓜达尔港将在五年内成为南亚最大的船运中心,年吞吐量将达1300万吨。他们说,在2030年前,瓜达尔港的年吞吐量将可高达4亿吨。

近几个月,中国开始将中巴经济走廊称为其全球“一带一路”倡议的旗舰项目。中国驻巴基斯坦大使馆临时代办赵立坚说,从一个实验性项目转变为旗舰项目,这一“质变”凸显出北京在中巴经济走廊项目上附加的重要性。

赵立坚介绍,在中巴经济走廊39个“早期收获”项目中,有19个项目通过中方投入的约185亿美元已经完工或处于施工中。这位中国外交官还补充说,这一进程使得中巴经济走廊成为中国计划通过“一带一路”倡议建设的至少六条走廊中发展最快的一条。

瓜达尔港主席贾马尔迪尼表示,瓜达尔港是“地区和平与繁荣的标志”,因为这个港口将会连接巴基斯坦周边国家,给各国发展贸易提供便利。

贾马尔迪尼否认了有关中国有技术的劳工、工程师和商人将会涌入巴基斯坦,伤害国内产业的担忧,他称这种担忧是“不正确的”。他补充说,参与瓜达尔港建设和其它项目的劳工队伍中约有百分之65是巴基斯坦人,目前中方人员仅有300多人。

对于安全的担忧以及印度对这一大型项目穿过的部分地区提出的主权声索总体上仍是建设瓜达尔港和发展中巴经济走廊需要面临的重要挑战。巴基斯坦和中方官员否认了有报道说北京扩大其在瓜达尔的存在以便能够使这里的港口容纳海军舰船和军用运输机的论断。

赵立坚坚称,两国的这一合作没有针对第三方国家“战略或政治”上的目的。他表示中巴经济走廊的目的“是为了帮助我们的铁哥们儿巴基斯坦”提升经济并强化双边关系。

巴基斯坦官员已经训练并部署了约15000名士兵组成的部队和准军事部队来保卫中巴经济走廊的有关项目以及为这些项目工作的中方人员。伊斯兰堡称,印度情报部门已经受命策划颠覆活动以打乱中巴经济走廊的建设进程。

瓜达尔市人口约为十万人,其中绝大多数是渔民和造船者,这里常被人称为寂静的捕鱼小镇。

这座海滨城市中遭受贫困打击的居民们希望这里正在进行的大规模发展能够为他们创造新的就业机会。

但是他们眼下的挑战是洁净的饮用水资源短缺以及每天长达数小时之久的断电。

然而巴基斯坦参议员穆沙希德?侯赛因说,持续的大规模经济活动将会使当地贫困居民的生活发生“质变”,人们将过上更好的生活。侯赛因是一个有关中巴经济走廊建设的议会委员会的主席。

他说,一个水产加工厂正在瓜达尔港建设当中,有关方面正在安排为渔民提供培训和装备以帮助他们改善条件,并将本地捕捞的水产品销往巴基斯坦其它地区和中国。

侯赛因相信,瓜达尔港建设计划中的经济项目将会帮助当地民众改善生活,并有助于缓解俾路支省长久存在的民怨。瓜达尔港就位于该省。

俾路支省是巴基斯坦贫困问题最严重的省份。该省长期遭受当地分裂主义者发动的低程度的暴动所引发的困扰。暴动主要源于联邦政府要求控制俾路支省当地储量巨大的自然资源。

瓜达尔港现有的拥有50张床位的医院正在将床位扩充到300张。一座职业技术学院、一座300兆瓦的烧煤发电厂以及一座海水淡化厂都在建设当中,此外一座新的国际机场还有一条连通瓜达尔与巴基斯坦其它地方和伊朗、阿富汗等邻国的六车道国际标准高速公路也在建造之中。

当地官员表示,包括新机场在内的绝大多数的项目都是在中国的资助下建造。中巴经济走廊规划中瓜达尔等地的其它项目正在借助中国的“无息”贷款和“软性贷款”得以施工。

China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant

An unprecedented Chinese financial and construction effort is rapidly developing Pakistan’s strategically located Arabian Sea port of Gwadar into one of the world’s largest transit and transshipment cargo facilities.

The deep water port lies at the convergence of three of the most commercially important regions of the world, the oil-rich Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.

Beijing is developing Gwadar as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, known as CPEC. The two countries launched the 15-year joint mega project in 2015 when President Xi Jinping visited Islamabad.

Under the cooperation deal construction or improvement of highways, railways, pipelines, power plants, communications and industrial zones is underway in Pakistan with an initially estimated Chinese investment of $46 billion.

The aim is to link Gwadar to landlocked western China, including its Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, giving it access to a shorter and secure route through Pakistan to global trade. The port will also provide the shortest route to landlocked Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan, through transit trade and offering transshipment facilities.

Chinese fuel imports and trading cargo will be loaded on trucks and ferried to and from Xinjiang through the Karakoram Highway, snaking past snow-caped peaks in northern Pakistan.

Gwadar will be able to handle about one million tons of cargo annually by the end of the year. Officials anticipate that with expansion plans under way, the port will become South Asia’s biggest shipping center within five years, with a yearly capacity of handling 13-million tons of cargo. And by 2030, they say, it will be capable of handling up to 400-million tons of cargo annually.

China has in recent months begun calling CPEC the flagship project of its global Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. The “qualitative change” from an experimental project to flagship project underscores the importance Beijing attaches to CPEC, said Zhao Lijian, the deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad.

Out of 39 “early harvest” projects under CPEC, 19 have since been completed or are under construction with a Chinese investment of about $18.5 billion, Lijian told VOA. The progress makes it the fastest developing of all of at least six BRI’s corridors China plans to establish, added the Chinese diplomat.

Gwadar is a “symbol of regional peace and prosperity” because it will connect countries around Pakistan to serve their trading interests, said port Chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini.

Jamaldini dismissed as “not true” concerns that skilled Chinese laborers, engineers and businesses will flood Pakistan, hurting domestic industries. About 65 percent of the labor force on construction and other projects at Gwadar is Pakistani, and the number of Chinese is currently just over 300, he added.

Security concerns and India’s claims over some of the territory crossed by the massive project remain key challenges for Gwadar and CPEC in general. Pakistani and Chinese officials dismiss reported assertions that Beijing is expanding its presence at Gwadar to be able to handle naval ships and military transport planes.

The collaboration has “no strategic or political” aims against a third country, insisted Lijian. He went on to assert that the purpose of CPEC” is to help our iron brother Pakistan” to improve its economy and to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Pakistani officials have trained and deployed about 15,000 troops and paramilitary forces to guard CPEC-related projects and the Chinese working on them. Islamabad alleges that the Indian intelligence agency has been tasked to plot subversive acts to derail CPEC.

Gwadar, with a population of around 100,000, mostly fishermen and boat makers, is often referred to as a sleepy fishing town.

The costal city’s poverty-stricken residents are hoping new employment opportunities will be created for them in the wake of the massive development underway in Gwadar.

But their immediate challenges are shortages of clean drinking water and hours long daily power blackouts.

“We are happy Chinese are building port, hospitals, schools and roads but right now we out of power during most of the day and limited water availability,” said fisherman Khalil Ahmed.

The family, like other fishermen in Gwadar, has been plying unspoiled crystal blue waters of the Arabian Sea for decades with age-old fishing techniques and barely surviving on limited income because financial resources do not allow them to buy modern fishing tools.

However, ongoing massive economic activity will “qualitatively” change the lives of its poverty-stricken residents for the better, says Mushahid Hussain, who chairs a parliamentary committee on CPEC.

He says a fisheries processing plant is being installed at the port and arrangements are being planned to train and equip fishermen to improve and export local fish to other parts of Pakistan and China.

Senator Hussain believes economic projects under construction in Gwadar will help its people and address long-running grievances of the province of Baluchistan, where the port is situated.

The poverty-stricken largest Pakistani province has long been in the grip of a low-level Baluchistan separatist insurgency, which mainly stems from demands from the federal government for local control over Baluchistan’s vast natural resources.

Gwadar’s existing 50-bed government hospital is being extended to 300 beds, a technical and vocational institute is being constructed, a 300-megawatts coal-based power plant and a desalination plant are being installed, a new international airport and a six-lane international standard expressway are being built to connect Gwadar port with the rest of Pakistan and neighboring countries, including Iran and Afghanistan.

Local officials say most of the projects, including the new airport, are being built with Chinese financial grants. The rest of the projects in Gwadar and elsewhere in Pakistan under CPEC are being built with “interest-free” and “soft-loans” from China.