Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic Hambantota port deal

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Sri Lanka’s government wants a Chinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic port project by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed at blunting public and political opposition to the deal.

After signing an agreement in December, state-run China Merchants Port Holdings had been expected to pay $1.12 billion for a 99-year lease on an 80 percent stake in Sri Lanka’s southern Hambantota port – part of Beijing’s ambitious plans to create a modern-day “Silk Road”across Asia.

But the deal – and the Chinese investment that Sri Lanka needs to ease a mounting debt crisis – has been delayed by legal and political obstacles on a related project: the development of a nearby 15,000-acre industrial zone. Read more

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