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China’s top option for next naval base is Sri Lanka, report says

28 July 2023 04:38 pm - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka tops the list of nations that may host a Chinese naval base in the coming years as Beijing seeks to expand its maritime capabilities, according to a new report.

The South Asian nation’s Hambantota port is the most likely spot for a base given the $2.19 billion China has already invested there, according to an assessment by the AidData research project at William & Mary university in Virginia.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) currently only has one overseas military base in Djibouti, on the coast of the Horn of Africa.

But as the rivalry between the US and China heats up, Beijing is catching up with Washington’s overseas maritime strength. Unlike the US, China is not party to international defence alliances – its only formal defence treaty is with North Korea. That makes developing overseas naval bases a priority for China’s military development, argue the AidData researchers.

PLAN’s future ambitions may be closely aligned with China’s belt and road initiative. Four of the eight bases shortlisted by AidData are in Africa. Although China’s most pressing maritime ambitions are in the South China Sea and the Taiwan strait the report’s authors note that those operations could be conducted “entirely from the Chinese mainland and home naval bases”. PLAN bases farther afield would help China to preserve shipping routes, especially in the event of western sanctions, and gather intelligence.


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  Comments - 20

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  • Ravi Friday, 28 July 2023 04:58 PM

    I saw this happen way back in the late 1990s!! When they got involved with the pristine Hambantota and changed the whole facade of the area and oiled palms, it was very obvious.

    Dharmakulasingham Friday, 28 July 2023 05:12 PM

    Anti-China campaign has been going on for a longtime.Western media spearheads this sort of campaign involving Sri Lanka and this could be the extension of Chinese debt trap.

    VJ Friday, 28 July 2023 06:11 PM

    I am not sure how many would remember, the Chinese asked for the Trincomalee oil farms during the time of Mrs. Bandaranaike. Her Indian counterpart Mrs. Gandhi asked Mrs. B to reconsider, and made a counter offer for the property. Mrs. B said that it was her country and that she would give it anyone she pleases. This disagreement is one of the reasons Mrs. Gandhi backed the rebellion in the north which was in its infancy then. Present day readers may disagree with my comments, but these are facts. The oil farm is now leased by the Indians anyway.

    Fred Friday, 28 July 2023 06:46 PM

    Western propaganda Chinese debt traps naval bases what else? The people in the country, the majority that is, need the basics, food, shelter, the opportunity to make a living so they could look after their family can't we concentrate on that the cost of living is rising daily, obvious to anyone

    Julie Friday, 28 July 2023 08:27 PM

    Once China establishes a base in Hambantota they will next eye Colombo Port City.

    Bernard Friday, 28 July 2023 09:43 PM

    Top Ex. Officials of SLPA were behind this task of leasing out Hambantota Port, after chasing away Canadians in giving an erroneous review report and then giving wrong advice to PM Ranil in 2015-2019 era. No action on them to date.

    Ceylon Saturday, 29 July 2023 12:28 AM

    For starters, should have always kept the Anglo Ceylon Defence Agreement with the British. ANYONE but the Indians are welcome. At least this way we'd have a Sino-Ceylon Defence Agreement with a genuine friend. The pathetic Indo Lanka Accord was never entered into willingly and is the opposite of sovereignty. India is THE enemy in the first place. Any right minded person should support this so that the Indians will be weeing themselves constantly. Justice for the pathetic Indians for having created the LTTE terrorists.

    We only know politics, nothing to PRODUCE Saturday, 29 July 2023 03:12 AM

    Remember, no one bother about Sri Lanka. Take it or leave attitude. Don't make as a big issue. I say again NO ONE BOTHER ABOUT SRI LANKA. Have a good meal (If you can), live happily.

    Bassa Saturday, 29 July 2023 04:59 AM

    The title of this research should be - A glare of the Vision.(Chinthanaya authored by Maina)

    Robin Banks Saturday, 29 July 2023 05:01 AM

    Let's face facts. We mortgaged the country and the Rajapaksas and the pohotuwa vermin got rich. Now we citizens have little say in the future direction of the nation. After 75 years of freedom we are again a colony. This is what happens when we elect selfserving imbeciles as leaders

    Wickrama Wijayasiri Saturday, 29 July 2023 06:22 AM

    This is not Mrs.B's country as VJ claims. If SL is even thinking about this, we are swimming into troubled waters we will not be able to swim in. Just take Cuba for an example!

    Muralidaran Ramesh Somasunderam Saturday, 29 July 2023 07:41 AM

    India will not accept or tolerate it. So as India is so close to geographically it is much better in Sri Lanka's interests to keep good relations with India in my opinion.

    Sambo Saturday, 29 July 2023 07:56 AM

    I Thought according to the agreement they cannot have any military activity. So how can they have a naval base here. Our politicians have cheated the public.

    Ron hardy Saturday, 29 July 2023 08:31 AM

    When you have politicians that got only one thing in mind how to make easy money to benifits them family friends etc.what will happend even if countries have somany other potentials to do we'll end up in huge debt trap we need to stop blaming Others but are own distroying the future of this beautiful nation's prosperity

    Ranjan Saturday, 29 July 2023 09:27 AM

    I too expected this a long time ago. China you better hurry up before our new Government comes up There won't be any room for you guys in the near future

    Doc Saturday, 29 July 2023 09:57 AM

    spreading baseless Chinaphobia to developing countries while having and letting billions of dollars of chinese investments in thier own backyards,letting free flow of chinese migrants and letting them buy property at will is a clear tactic by these western nations who have chinatowns,chinese investments,sold established big brands to chinese businesses in every nook and corner of their countries to deviate the rich chinese investment away from undeveloped countries to them to fatten it more for them...cheapchinaphobia tactics by western media...

    John Sunday, 30 July 2023 02:20 PM

    China is a totalitarian state which makes Sri Lankan repression of human rights appear like a kindergarten. Keep them and Russia at arm's length as long as you can as no good in the longer term will come out of dealing with these murderous regimes. From a lover of Sri Lanka

    Volker Metzger Sunday, 30 July 2023 04:19 PM

    The government of Sri Lanka, whoever represents or will represent it, should consider very carefully whether it is in the national interest of the country to become increasingly politically and economically dependent on China! Despite the historical proximity to China, in the long term this would also result in a loss of cultural identity! Last but not least, the military-strategic relevance, or even subordination, of a decision in favor of Chinese foreign policy must also be considered! Sri Lanka should also not become the plaything of international power interests, because it can only lose! In view of the general world situation and the desires of other countries, Sri Lanka should above all formulate its own national interests and requirements precisely and make them the basis of its policies!

    ChildOfGod Monday, 31 July 2023 01:56 PM

    Doc, you have forgotten the most important substance in that statement of yours. All western Countries have the know with all and military capabilities to defend their countries and monitor the investments by China, which has nothing to do with what is being sought after by the Chinese Government, which is a Military Base in Sri Lanka. China came with investment into Hambantota with the sole and forward thinking of using the Port as a Military Base into the future. Politicians who granted the investment, lost sight of this possibility and fell into the death trap we are now in, as a result of their FINANCIAL GREED. The MASSES of Sri Lanka (which are the majority) do not give a RATS TAIL what issues China has with the USA and its Partners, they simply want their daily basic needs to survive and live in harmony. Why does anyone with a atom of intelligence want to get involved in any Country having a Military Base in Sri Lanka, unless they want Sri Lanka wiped off the face of the earth!

    Dilshan Perera Monday, 31 July 2023 04:41 PM

    We should build more ports and invite all major powers to have bases here.. and even missile stations, as long as they pay well, and share technology with us and give us unrestricted access.


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