Issue Brief on “Hambantota Port Deal: On the Chessboard of Regional Power Politics”

The Chinese Hambantota Port Deal with Sri Lanka indicates its growing economic and political clout in South Asia. In comparison with India, China has emerged as a relatively handy option for Sri Lanka to pursue its goals of economic prosperity. With this deal, Beijing has certainly entered the domain which India has long considered its area of influence. On part of China, the deal is yet another smart move of encircling India in the South Asian region.

On July 29, 2017, Sri Lanka inked a US$ 1.1 billion deal with China for its southern deep seaport in the Indian Ocean, Hambantota. Before signing the deal, the concession agreement on Hambantota Port between China Merchants Port Holding Company (CMPHC) and Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) was tabled and debated in the Sri Lankan parliament on July 28-29 respectively. As per the agreement, the port has been leased to CMPHC for 99 years and about 15,00o acres land nearby for establishing an industrial zone.[1] After dividing the port operations into two categories: commercial and security, two separate companies were formed to deal with these matters.

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