In order to keep an eye on Indian Navy’s operations, China is planning to deploy a nuclear submarine at Gwadar Port in southwestern Pakistan. China has begun work on infrastructure required to station nuclear submarines at the Gwadar Port, which is being built and financed by Beijing for what it called ‘trade purposes’.
However, the likely deployment of nuclear submarine vindicates India’s long-standing discomfort that the real purpose of China’s involvement in Gwadar is strategic more than trade.
With nuclear submarine stationed at Gwadar Port,China will have direct strategic access to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This will also allow China to keep close tab on the operations of the Indian Navy. A high-level delegation of Chinese officials recently visited Islamabad and held a meeting with key figures in the Pakistan Navy, to expedite the nuclear submarines base projects, a Zee News report said.
Also, it is learnt that China’s Navy wing of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is eager to operationalise these bases at the earliest.The Pakistani Navy is constructing a VLF station for strategic submarine communications.
VLF means Very Low Frequency, which is used for shore radio station and provides one-way communication to submarines operating in deep water. China is working with the Pakistani Navy on the civil works. The works related to the construction of 205 antenna tower foundation, underground VLF building and power station is currently underway.
Indian military intelligence agencies have reportedsome instances of Chinese submarines hanging around close to the Indian coast in past. China also recently operationalised a military base in Djibouti.