01/07/2017 by Julia van der Doesch
It’s a deal that the Sri Lankan government hopes will pay off some of its multi-billion dollar debts to China. A controversial agreement has been signed to lease the port of Hambantota to a Chinese state-owned company for the next 99 years. The Chinese government helped foot the $1.3 billion bill for construction of the redeveloped port in southern Sri Lanka.
An industrial zone near the port hopes to attact Chinese investment. Critics complain a Chinese colony is being built. Sri Lankan leaders insist Chinese debts need to be repaid and the deal will attract investment and create jobs. Is the deal too high a price to pay?