According to noted national security correspondent Bill Gertz:
"Plans for the base were advanced during a visit to Jiwani on Dec. 18 by a group of 16 Chinese People's Liberation Army officers who met with about 10 Pakistani military officers."
"The Chinese also asked the Pakistanis to undertake a major upgrade of Jiwani airport so the facility will be able to handle large Chinese military aircraft. Work on the airport improvements is expected to begin in July."
Sources now say the plan has been accelerated. Upgrade of the Jiwani airport is already underway. In addition, procedures are being formulated for the relocation of the local population to make way for Chinese military and other support personnel. The sensitivity and importance of this issue to China and Pakistan cannot be overstated. After the disclosures and the expected denials from both Islamabad and Beijing, Pakistani officials, as early as January 5, 2018, launched a leak investigation and it was jointly decided to advance the schedule for the Jiwani base.
Strategically, China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is their roadmap to geopolitical dominance. It is soft power with an underlying hard power, military component, the so-called "String of Pearls" bases and facilities.