Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to visit China during the middle of January, sources close to him said yesterday.
This is his first visit to the country after the defeat at the January 8 presidential election. During his tenure, Sino-Lanka relations were elevated to the level of ‘Strategic Partnership Cooperation’ and Chinese business ventures invested heavily in Sri Lanka's infrastructure projects.
The then opposition accused him of being over reliant on China to the detriment of other countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also visited Sri Lanka during the latter part of Mr. Rajapaksa’s tenure and attended the launch of the Colombo Port City project. The new government suspended the project for a review of agreements signed and asked for a fresh environmental impact assessment.
However, the project has received the green light and it is likely to be resumed early next year. (Kelum Bandara)