Chinese sailors stand at attention on board the Harbin missile destroyer

New Delhi: China is planning to build its second overseas naval base near Pakistani’s Gwadar port following the opening of its facility in Djibouti last year.

A report in the South China Morning Post said that Gwadar port was a key part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The report cited a source close to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as saying that the navy would set up a base near Gwadar similar to the one in Djibouti. The source is reported to have raised questions on the feasibility of the decision and has told South China Morning Post that Gwadar port can’t provide specific services for warships since public order there is in a mess.

“It is not a good place to carry out military logistical support,” the source is quoted as saying.

Experts quoted in the report said that the port on the Arabian Sea would be used to dock and maintain naval vessels and also provide logistical support. The expert, Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming, pointed out that it was common practice to have separate facilities for warships and merchant vessels due to their different operations.

The development comes just eight months after ships carrying personnel for China's first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, set sail in July last year to begin setting up the facility, as China's rapidly modernising military extends its global reach.

China began construction of base in Djibouti in 2016 and is to be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

The People's Liberation Army Daily said in a front-page commentary the facility was a landmark that would increase China's ability to ensure global peace, especially because it had so many UN peacekeepers in Africa and was so involved in anti-piracy patrols.