- Sri Lanka has signed a deal with India and Japan to jointly develop the East Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo.This terminal would be beneficial for India as around 70% of Colombo Port shipment is related to India.
- However,India’s role in developing the terminal had been opposed by Sri lankan President as involving foreign countries for developing national assets remains a politically sensitive issue in the island.But the agreement was reached after Japan stepped into the project.
- Further,the involvement of India and Japan in the project is seen as a development aimed at neutralising the growing influence of China which has poured money into the Sri Lanka under its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure plan.
- India and the US have been highlighting the concerns over the BRI projects which may leave a number of smaller countries in debt traps.The concerns grew louder after China took over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on a 99-year lease.
- China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors.It aim at improving (a)regional integration, (b) increasing trade and (c)stimulating economic growth.
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