India confronts China with $700m port deal. On Thursday, an Indian business announced a $700 million deal to build a vital deep-sea container facility in Sri Lanka, officials said, in a move regarded as retaliation against China’s growing influence in the region.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) announced a deal with India’s Adani Group to construct a brand-new terminal adjacent to a Chinese-run wharf worth $500 million at the expansive port in the capital Colombo. “The agreement, valued at over $700 million, represents the greatest foreign investment in Sri Lanka’s port sector to date,” the SLPA said in a statement.
John Keells stated that it would own 34% of the enterprise, while Adani would own 51% of the joint venture known as the Colombo West International Terminal. The new container jetty will be 1.4 kilometers long, 20 meters deep, and can handle 3.2 million containers annually.
Additionally, Pakistan and China are waging a charming drive in Sri Lanka.
The business expects the first phase of the project, which includes a 600-meter terminal, to be finished within two years. After 35 years of operation, the terminal will transfer to Sri Lankan ownership.
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Plans to offer India access to the vital Colombo port date back several years but were shelved in February when trade unions affiliated with the ruling coalition opposed providing New Delhi a half-constructed terminal within the port.
Later, the government commissioned Indians to construct a brand-new terminal adjacent to China’s Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT). Colombo’s location in the Indian Ocean, between the main trading hubs of Dubai and Singapore, means that influence over its ports is highly prized.
In 2014, two Chinese submarines berthed at the CICT, raising worries in India, which considers Sri Lanka to be inside its sphere of influence. Sri Lanka has since refused to allow additional Chinese submarines to be stationed there.
Sri Lanka approved China Merchants Port Holdings to take over the southern Hambantota port, which crosses the world’s busiest east-west shipping route, in December 2017.
India and the US have also expressed worry that a Chinese presence at Hambantota could provide Beijing with military advantage in the Indian Ocean.
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