Pakistan agrees to transfer control of strategic port to China

Pakistan has agreed let China take operational control of a strategic deep water port on the country's southwestern coast.

The port is vital to Beijing's economic and perhaps military interests.

A spokesman for Pakistan's Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Mohammed Raza, says the Cabinet agreed Wednesday to the deal involving Gwadar port in Baluchistan province.

Under the deal, a company owned by the Chinese government, China Overseas Port Holdings Limited, would purchase control of the port from Singapore's PSA International Pte Ltd.

Raza said Friday that the transaction has not yet taken place.

Asked about the port Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing will support projects that are conducive to good relations with Pakistan.