China’s Xi offers fresh US$295 million grant to Sri Lanka in push for dominance
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COLOMBO: Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan (US$295 million), as Beijing tries to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India’s southern tip.
President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, a partner in Beijing’s multi-country Belt and Road infrastructure push, made the announcement on Saturday at a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a Chinese-funded kidney hospital in his home constituency of Polonnaruwa, 230 km (142.92 miles) from capital Colombo.
“When the Chinese ambassador visited my house to fix the date for this ceremony, he said that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent me another gift,” Sirisena told the gathering.
“He has gifted 2 billion yuan to be utilized for any project of my wish….