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NewsSri Lanka: Hambantota port could soon become a forward military base for China’s Navy – Mike Pence

Sri Lanka: Hambantota port could soon become a forward military base for China’s Navy – Mike Pence

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Image: US Vice President Mike Pence.
In his speech on 4th October, the US vice president repeated claims that Beijing is using billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to countries across the world to tie them to the Chinese government, a practice termed “debt diplomacy.”
“The terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing,” Pence said.
In particular, Pence referenced Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka. It was commissioned by the local government with Chinese funds in 2010 but
when Sri Lanka was unable to pay back their loans, a Chinese state-owned company took ownership.
“It may soon become a forward military base for China’s growing blue-water navy,” Pence said

China is using “debt diplomacy” to expand its global influence, US Vice President Mike Pence alleged, citing example of a Sri Lankan port which he said could soon become a forward military base for Beijing’s growing blue-water navy.

Pence said China was offering hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa to Europe to even Latin America. Yet the terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing,” Pence said on Thursday.

“China uses so-called ‘debt diplomacy’ to expand its influence,” Pence alleged in a major foreign policy speech at the Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank. “Just ask Sri Lanka, which took on massive debt to let Chinese state companies build a port with questionable commercial value. Two years ago, that country could no longer afford its payments – so Beijing pressured Sri Lanka to deliver the new port directly into Chinese hands. It may soon become a forward military base for China’s growing blue-water navy,” Pence said.

PTI

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