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India’s bid to bring Chinese expansion to an end

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COLOMBO : When Sri Lanka found it difficult to repay Chinese debt, they gave away their lands to China. After the Hambantota port, China wanted to take control of the Colombo port. This was surely undesirable to both Sri Lanka and India. But now, Adani Ports has entered into a staggering $700 million deal with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority(SLPA). Billionaire Gautam Adani-led group’s Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd signed an agreement with Sri Lanka’s state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to develop and run the strategic Colombo port’s Western Container Terminal.

Adani Ports will hold a 51% stake in the Western Container International Terminal and become the first-ever Indian port operator in the Island nation. The agreement is a (BOT) Build-Operate-Transfer agreement with its local partner John Keels Holdings and the SLPA to develop the WCT at the Colombo port. The two local partners will have 34% and 15% stakes, respectively, in the joint venture.

China is expectedly shocked by India’s move to counter its expansionist strategy in the Indian Ocean. India has to pay $700 million to secure the port from the Chinese. The move will prevent China from using the western port terminal to build its military base and dominating the Indian Ocean. Adani Groups is also celebrating its 14th strategic port acquisition with this deal. It is good news for India and its soft power as its private sector is controlling major ports of the world.

China is using its notorious ‘debt trap’ strategy to take control of the foreign lands by giving a significant amount of loans to economically weaker nations, knowing fully well the nations’ inability to pay back those loans. In lieu of the bad loans, China captures the infrastructure that it helped build in that country and the sovereign foreign land that these infrastructure projects stand on.

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