Thursday, March 22, 2018 05:38:36 PM

Sri Lanka finalises US$1.12 billion port deal with China

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sri-lanka-portCOLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s government Tuesday approved the sale to China of a majority stake in a loss-making but strategically-sited deep sea port for more than a billion dollars, the ports minister said.

The cabinet gave final approval to sell a 70% stake in Hambantota port for US$1.12 billion to state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings, minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters.

The Chinese will manage the port operations and the Sri Lankans the port security, the minister said. That, he added, should allay fears that the port could be misused by the Chinese.

Hambantota port straddles the world’s busiest east-west international shipping lane across the Indian Ocean and some nations have raised concerns that it could become a military hub for the Chinese.

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