China for healthy competition with India in Sri Lanka

China is willing to have healthy competition with India in Sri Lanka, China’s Global Times reported today.

While China and Sri Lanka ramp up efforts to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) this year, India is pushing for the signing of the Economic Technology Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka to broaden the scope of its existing FTA.

As Sri Lanka is a key point along the Belt and Road route, China is increasing investment in the country. Some projects financed by China have helped Sri Lanka solidify its strategic position in South Asia’s geopolitical landscape. As China and Sri Lanka strengthen ties, India’s desires to maintain its balance of power in the region are understandable.

China, for its part, is willing to have a healthy competition with India. Pushing forward investment facilitation is expected to play an important part in the upcoming FTA between China and Sri Lanka, while a tripartite arrangement on trade and investment is likely to be discussed among India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. Sri Lanka may even be able to serve as a gateway to help Chinese investors explore the Indian market as the island nation is keen to make itself an offshore center for South Asia, Global Times reported.

China has no intention of turning the Belt and Road initiative into a zero-sum game, but India may still worry about the tentacles China stretches into the Indian Ocean. Despite a repeated pledge that Chinese investment in the Sri Lankan Hambantota port is normal business, India has remained alert. Further, Sri Lanka offered reassurances over the weekend that Chinese military activity would not be allowed at the port. Such words can be seen as diplomatic rhetoric to comfort India as Beijing and Colombo already have an understanding that the project is purely commercial.

Nevertheless, India’s concern is a reminder that massive investment is fueling distrust of China’s increasing presence in the region. China is expected to further improve economic cooperation with Sri Lanka and such efforts are China’s response to the distrust from countries and the spreading of groundless rumors that Beijing has military ambitions in the Indian Ocean. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. Sri lanak has to review FTA between Indian -Sri lanka that agreement before sing proposed ETCA on the table.

    The FTA with last several years ,since year 2000,that still having large gap of Trade is imbalance ,that unfevravouble to Sri Lankan side.
    Which is very essentials to address by policy makers promptly.

    Review under WTO of FTA between two countries are over-due. Is that current ruling parties in power want ignored ,while want sing ETCA before Review?

    That is not way to see that solution of Trade issues in doldrums between Sri Lankan and Indian.

    That is wrong step and will led to be surrender an Economic Sovereignty of our Nation to India!
    That is undermined whole national Economy by misrule of Trade policies of Development , Trade and Investments that mismanagement by UNP Governances ?

    Ours national interest is nobody can be surrender or that over ride or by passed by current issues of their (UNP Rulers) the Bona fide leads to suspicion time being..

    We having a knowledge of that importance of Location of that Sri lanka in south Asia.

    We are for Free trade with Indian and proposed China.
    But we do want not undermined and destroy whole national economy subject colonialized by Big powers politically, Economically and Socially.

    Ours is small nation having 2600 years civilization base of Buddhist teaching ,which thought to be far independent and neutral in many centuries .

    In coming few centuries we cannot surrender nation identity any big Powers.

    Needless to say PRC is most favourable nation to
    Sri lanka since after1949 ,which PRC came into being under CPC led by Mao-Zedong .
    Both countries are tested friends by deeds .

    The FTA of proposed to China ,that we have study in-depth by Sri Lankan point of view.

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