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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Hambantota”

Is Sri Lanka Really A Victim Of China’s ‘Debt Trap’?

The economic reality is that Sri Lanka leased out Hambantota port to China largely due to a persistent balance of payment (BOP) crisis resulting from the reduction of trade over the years even while external debt servicing costs have been soaring. Sri Lank faced a severe shortage of foreign reserves in light of the upcoming debt servicing payments, due to the maturity of international sovereign bonds. Therefore, the country had to look for various avenues to obtain foreign currency inflows. Leasing out Hambantota port was one of the ways to increase the country’s foreign reserves.

Read Here – The Diplomat

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Next Hambantota? Welcome To The Chinese-Funded US$1.4 Billion Port City Colombo In Sri Lanka

Port City Colombo, an ambitious Chinese-funded project to build a new metropolis on a 665-acre island reclaimed from the sea, is set to rise just off the popular spot in a couple of decades. Rising in tandem, however, are concerns about the amount Beijing is lending Colombo, and the circumstances of those loans – with the controversial China-backed Hambantota Port looming large in Sri Lankans’ memory.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Also Read: Sri Lanka Rejects Fears Of China’s ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ In Belt And Road Projects

A Chinese Flag Flies Over Sri Lanka As China Extends Its Reach Into India’s Backyard

On the first day of the New Year, the Chinese and Sri Lankan flags were hoisted to the same height over the Hambantota port in the Indian Ocean nation.  It was the first time the Chinese flag had risen over the loss-making facility which Sri Lanka formally handed over to a Chinese state firm in a US$1.12 billion deal. The port deal is just one of a series of infrastructure forays China has made into Sri Lanka in a region usually regarded as India’s backyard.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Sri Lanka’s China Enclave: Set To Boom Or Bust?

Hambantota isn’t just a place in Sri Lanka, it’s a symbol. What started out as a gargantuan project to transform an undeveloped swath of Sri Lankan jungle into the country’s number two city — an industrial and logistical epicenter in the heart of the Indian Ocean — turned into a metaphor for opaque government dealings, poor planning, the flippant use of public funds, and token rivalries between political factions.

Read Here – Forbes

Why Would Little Sri Lanka Matter To Japan?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is slated to visit Sri Lanka soon. Abe will undoubtedly express his appreciation for Sri Lanka’s past assistance to Japan, but a more important task will be to convey Japan’s strong concern over China’s strategic muscle-flexing. He will be trying to pour a bit of cold water on the island-nation’s growing love affair with China.

Read Here – Nikkei Asian Review

China’s String of Pearls?

The New York Times recently reported that China apparently has agreed to take over the operations of a $200 million port it built for Pakistan in Gwadar, on the Indian Ocean close to the Iranian border and close to the entrance to the Persian Gulf. We’ll see if this actually happens. If it does, it will be geopolitically significant. To a greater degree than other Indian Ocean ports that China has either built, helped finance or upgraded, Gwadar is plagued by considerable security problems, as I found out during a visit there in 2008. It is in a remote region of Pakistan affected by Baloch separatism.

Read Here – Stratfor

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