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Donald Trump's pressure on Pakistan may push it closer to China: Report

China officially states that it is only a logistics base to service its naval personnel deployed for anti-piracy operations

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Pakistani religious students protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in Lahore. Photo: PTI
Pakistani religious students protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in Lahore. Photo: PTI

US Donald Trump's recent outburst on will further boost economic and defence ties between and Islamabad, including acquiring a base close to Iran's port, an here said on Friday.

Trump's January 1 attack against where he accused it of providing safe havens to terrorists appears to be helping boost already close ties between and China, a report in the state-run said.

It attributed Islamabad's decision to allow Chinese currency in bilateral trade and financing transactions as has stepped up its in the USD 50 billion China-Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Significantly, the report quoted a Times report that is in talks with to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.

The facility could be built at Jiwani, a port near Iran's close to the border in the Gulf of Oman, and is located a short distance from Gwadar in province which is currently being developed by to gain entry into the warm waters of the opposite the coast.

Jiwani is located just a stone's throw from port being jointly developed by Iran, and to ensure a trade corridor for Indian exports to

Observers say Jiwani could be a pressure tactic by as is already developing Gwadar where earlier reports said plans to station its marines.

While the official Chinese media said Trump piling pressure on may push it closer to Beijing, analysts here point to already existing close ties between the two countries.

Pakistan's move to allow Chinese currency is not a dramatic policy change, as the yuan is already accepted by many Pakistani companies, said Dong Dengxin, of at of Science and Technology.

He said the timing may be significant.

"This is more of a political statement in response to pressure from the US, telling the US that has a great relationship with and that would become even closer with China," Dong told the

On establishing a military base at Jiwani, Lin Minwang, a at Fudan University's Centre for South Asian Studies said "both and have the ability to build a joint naval and air facility in Pakistan, but it is unnecessary at this time".

But he said it could be a backup plan in response to the strategy of the US and its allies.

Lin believes if the US and its allies push their Indo- Pacific strategy to the extreme, will surely carry out a plan with to ensure the security of sea routes.

Interestingly, the said has established its "first overseas military base in Djibouti", in the Horn of in

officially states that it is only a logistics base to service its naval personnel deployed for anti-piracy operations.

Besides Djibouti, has also acquired the port in on a 99-year lease.

First Published: Fri, January 05 2018. 23:23 IST
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