Sri Lanka says no Chinese military base at port
Colombo, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka rejected on Wednesday US claims that China might establish a ‘forward military base’ at a strategic port leased to Beijing by the indebted island nation.
Sri Lanka last year granted a 99-year lease on the Hambantota deep-sea port to Beijing, after it was unable to repay Chinese loans for the US$1.4bn project. The port is one of several projects being funded under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Last week US Vice President Mike Pence said Hambantota may soon become a forward mil- itary base for China’s blue-water navy. But Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said that there would be no for- eign military presence at Hambantota, and that the US State Department had been briefed.
The port facility at Hambantota