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China’s Sri Lankan Port Ambitions Persist

Posted on July 29, 2015

By Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), a subsidiary of the state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), has proposed the construction of new facilities at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port. According to an IHS Maritime 360 report, the CHEC proposal focuses on the construction of a new shipbuilding and repair dockyard. The proposal is part of the third phase of the construction of the Hambantota Port.

Incidentally, CHEC is at the center of a Sri Lankan government investigation into corrupt practices by the former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa, who unexpectedly lost a January early presidential election to Maithripala Sirisena, was widely perceived as friendly to Chinese investment in Sri Lanka. As the South China Morning Post detailed last week, CHEC is accused to having offered a bribe to facilitate Rajapaksa’s reelction bid. CHEC won a $1.4 billion contract during the Rajapaksa presidency to build the Colombo Port City, a project that was frozen after the Sirisena administration came to powerand began reviewing Chinese contracts that were awarded during the Rajapaksa era.


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