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Stars and Stripes March 20 2017

Island Nation in Indian Ocean now a big draw for US, China

Erik Slavin
The USNS Fall River moors at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka as part of the Pacific Partnership 2017 exercise this month

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — The answer to why a state-of-the-art port exists in a remote part of one of Asia’s smallest nations lies a short distance out in the Indian Ocean.

A critical sea lane is a reason China built the little-used Hambantota port in the first place, and why — besides a long-­standing regional humanitarian mission — the U.S. military was keen to visit for nearly two weeks this month.

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New Eastern Outlook February 15 2017

China and India Contest the Right to Own Hambantota

Vladimir Terehov
Equipped with a pair of modern container cranes, the Hambantota Port, pictured, has been most successful attracting roll-on, roll-off cargo.

Analysts specialized in predicting the course relations between India and China may take, have recently followed a scenario unravelling around the small town of Hambantota, located in the south of the Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).

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The Diplomat February 22 2017

India Could Do More for Sri Lanka’s Tamils

Taylor Dibbert
Image credited from adaderana.lk

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been relatively quiet when it comes to Tamil issues in Sri Lanka, although now would be a good time for the prime minister to reconsider his low-key approach. Modi visited Sri Lanka in March 2015, the first time an Indian prime minister had travelled to the island nation in nearly thirty years. He even went to Jaffna in the country’s north, a symbolically significant move.

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Global times  February 06 2017

China won’t back down from building economic, commercial ties with Sri Lanka

Hu Weijia
Narendra Modi in a bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 23, 2016

It would not necessarily be a bad thing if healthy competition between China and India in the Sri Lankan market could be further stirred up. While China and Sri Lanka ramp up efforts to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) this year, India is pushing for the signing of the Economic Technology Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka to broaden the scope of its existing FTA. It seems that neither China or India wants to be left behind in boosting its presence in the island nation.

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YaleGlobal Online January 12 2017

Rekindled Sino-Indian tensions roil geopolitics in Asia

Harsh V. Pant
A Pakistani nuclear-capable cruise missile is launched from a submarine during a test firing. Photo: AFP

After a few timid signs of warming, Sino-Indian relations seem to be headed for the freezer. While Beijing refuses to take Indian security concerns seriously, New Delhi may have decided to take the Chinese challenge head-on. To complicate matters for India, its erstwhile ally Russia, which has become a close friend of China, is showing interest in establishing closer ties with Pakistan.

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Project Syndicate January 23 2017

China’s debt-trap

Brahma Chellaney
Photo Courtesy: sinogate.org

The heavier the debt burden on smaller countries, the greater China’s own leverage becomes
If there is one thing at which China’s leaders truly excel, it is the use of economic tools to advance their country’s geostrategic interests. Through its US $1 trillion “one belt, one road” initiative, China is supporting infrastructure projects in strategically located developing countries, often by extending huge loans to their governments. As a result, countries are becoming ensnared in a debt trap that leaves them vulnerable to China’s influence.

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