Sri Lanka to shift naval base to China-controlled Hambantota port
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is shifting a naval base to a port built and controlled by China, it said on Monday, a move that will strengthen security at a harbour that foreign powers fear China could use for military purposes.
The base currently in the tourist district of Galle will be moved 125 km (80 miles) east along Sri Lanka's southern coast to Hambantota, nearer a main shipping route between Asia and Europe.
The $1.5 billion deepwater port is likely to play a major role in China's "Belt and Road" initiative and is under a 99-year lease to China Merchants Port Holdings at a cost of $1.12 billion.
Government and diplomatic sources have told Reuters that the United States, India and Japan have raised concerns that China might use the port as a naval base.
The Sri Lankan government and Chinese embassy in Colombo have denied that and the agreement for the port deal included a clause that it cannot be used for military purposes.
"Sri Lanka has already informed China that Hambantota port cannot be used for military purposes," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office said in a statement.
"Since the security of the port will be under the control of Sri Lanka navy, there is no need to fear," the statement said.
A naval unit has already been established in Hambantota and construction work for the base is under way, navy spokesman Dinesh Bandara said.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the Hambantota port project was to help Sri Lanka achieve its aim of becoming a logistics hub in the Indian Ocean, which was good for the country's economic development and the region as a whole.
原创翻译：三泰虎 http://jblasi.com/45471.html 译者：Joyceliu
Col Avner Mueller
Col Avner Mueller-Israel-20 hours ago
Your Congress party (Manmohan) was given an opportunity by Sri Lanka to develop the same port that Chinese have now taken control of, but he refused. This is the same Manmohan who also refused to let our jets refuel at India so we could destroy Pakistan''s nuclear reactors (he said it will destroy his MUSLIM VOTE BANK). If you Indians want to save your country, vote for any party but the anti-national Congress.
Senthil Kumar Chandran
Senthil-20 hours ago
congress only responsible making Sri Lanka as Chinese military base.
Francis-Dubai-20 hours ago
Now these countries realizing poison of china.
Shankarnarayan Sarma-Ghaziabad(UP)-20 hours ago-Follow
Sri Lanka says the port developed by China is exclusively for the military use of China. To show to the world nations, Sri Lanka moved its navy to that port. Let us see how much truth behind it.
Tsupon-20 hours ago-Follow
Their next step is to move their women to China-controlled Hambantoto port
Panda-Delhi-20 hours ago-Follow
Chinese String of Pearls now has naval base and airfields around India in strategic maritime centres in Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Somalia. India has been surrounded by Chinese and does not stand a change against China if a war breaks out. Why not a single world from Fekuram Damodar Modi? Why is he hiding like a scared mouse?
Ram kumar-RAMPUR-19 hours ago-Follow
WHEN STRING OF PEARLS WERE GETTING LAID A CHOR POLITICAL PARTY WAS BUSY LOOTING ITS OWN COUNTRY FROM INSIDE. JUSTICE SHOULD BE DONE.
Panini Lal-20 hours ago-Follow
Right move. China has to be kept in check....