Sri Lankan PM will build airports and ports from China. Betraying India which helped in difficult times?


The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka announced on Wednesday that after meeting and mutual meeting with the Prime Minister of China Li Qiang, he has agreed to the development of the airport and Hambantota port in Colombo. 

This promise of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister is being considered a big blow for India because building a strategic deep sea port in Hamtota means that China will get another base in the Indian Ocean, which is a good thing for India. 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has said after meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang that China, Sri Lanka's largest bilateral lender, will "assist" in restructuring Sri Lanka's external debt, which stands at US$2.9 billion with the IMF. The bailout is an important condition for the continuation of Pajek Do.

Therefore, questions are being raised about whether China has tried to get a deal for the airport and port by pressurizing Sri Lanka to “assist” in debt restructuring.

Beijing's position on debt restructuring has not yet been made public, but Sri Lankan officials have said China is not prepared to cut its loans but may extend loan repayment periods and adjust interest rates.

Let us tell you that in the year 2022, Sri Lanka had exhausted its foreign exchange reserves, after which it declared itself in default, expressing its inability to repay its $46 billion loan. After this, there were violent demonstrations in Sri Lanka, and the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had to flee the country.

It is believed that the reason behind Sri Lanka's default is the Chinese debt trap.

But now Prime Minister Gunawardena's office has said that Chinese Premier Li Qiang has promised that China will "continually assist Sri Lanka in its debt restructuring process and help Sri Lanka develop its economy." Without giving further details, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Gunawardena said Beijing had offered "assistance to develop" Colombo International Airport and Hambantota Port. Following Sri Lanka's sovereign debt default, Colombo Airport's Japanese-owned loan is currently on hold. 

Whereas, Sri Lanka handed over the southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese government-owned company on a 99-year lease for $1.12 billion in 2017, raising security concerns in India. Both India and the United States are concerned that a Chinese foothold in Hambantota, on the island's southern coast, could significantly increase China's naval edge in the Indian Ocean. Although Sri Lanka has insisted that its ports will not be used for any military purpose, New Delhi has expressed strong objection to the calling of Chinese spy ships in Hambantota. The most surprising thing is that Sri Lanka is working against India even at the time when China had left Sri Lanka during the economic crisis, then India gave help of 4 billion dollars to its neighbouring country.