China has sold two naval ships to Pakistan to protect the strategic Gwadar Port and trade routes under the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying the sale of vessels was part of “normal” military and trade cooperation. Before this a special brigade has been created and posted for the security of the dedicated corridor. Chinese authorities have denied the gifting of these vessels. As far as Chinese officials are concerned it is a normal military trade cooperation and complies with the international commitments of the two countries. China yesterday handed over the two ships to the Pakistan Navy for joint security along the sea route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has been developed under CPEC linking western China through Pakistan with the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Recently built in China and equipped with state-of-the-art guns, the ships will be part of Pakistan Navy and also used to protect the sea-lanes in the Arabian Sea. In the past, China has shied away from saying that it plans to deploy its naval ships in Gwadar, a move which could raise alarm in the US and India. China has not only rebuilt the Gwadar Port but also has its operational control. It is also building a network of roads and railways to link up its remote western region to Gwadar for easier access to the Arabian Sea. The revamped Gwadar port became operational in November last year when two cargo ships laden with containers set off for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE and EU. In other words Gawadar has become synonym to Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf which can have far reaching effect on Indian maritime security and merchant trade. And any flash on this part can lead to a tense situation for the geopolitical balance of the region affecting directly or indirectly India, Pakistan and China.