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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2681

Sri Lankan soil or sea will never be allowed for anti-India activities – President Rajapaksa

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Colombo, 01 June ( President MahindaChinese construction workers build the port at HambantotaChinese construction workers build the port at Hambantota Rajapaksa has told NDTV Saturday, (30) in an interview that Sri Lankan soil or sea will never be given to any other country to act against India. The Chinese Government is engaged in the construction of the Hambantota harbor. The President has stressed that the Hambantota harbor is not a centre for establishing Chinese power.

In 1952, Sri Lanka and China signed a trade agreement on rubber and rice. In 1957, China and Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations. Since then, the two countries have maintained friendly relations.

Political analysts say that Hambantota is where China is building a $1 billion port that it plans to use as a refueling and docking station for its navy, as it patrols the Indian Ocean and protects China’s supplies of Saudi oil. Ever since Sri Lanka agreed to the plan, in March 2007, China has given it all the aid, arms and diplomatic support it needs to defeat the Tigers, without worrying about the West.

The Chinese say that Hambantota is a purely commercial venture, but many US and Indian military planners regard it as part of a "string of pearls" strategy under which China is also building or upgrading ports at Gwadar in Pakistan, Chittagong in Bangladesh and Sittwe in Burma.

"For China, Hambantota is a commercial venture, but it’s also an asset for future use in a very strategic location," Major-General (Retd) Dipankar Banerjee of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in Delhi has said.

- Asian Tribune -

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