Hambantota port not part of ‘string of pearls’: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has clarified that the Hambantota port is not part of a Chinese ‘string of pearls’ to surround India. image                                    Source: google maps

What is the issue of Hambantota port? What is Sri Lanka’s perspective? What is String of Pearls?

What is the issue of Hambantota port?

The Hambantota port is a deep-water port in the southern tip of Sri Lanka which is developed by China. India is apprehensive that the port is part of Chinese ‘string of pearls’ with an objective to surround India.

What is Sri Lanka’s perspective?

Sri Lanka says the port is purely for economic operations and is not part of Chinese ‘string of pearls’. It says that it had first extended the offer for its development to India and only after getting no response from the country it was given to China.

What is String of Pearls?

The String of Pearls refers to the Chinese sea lines of communication which extend from the Chinese mainland to Port Sudan. The sea lines run through several major choke points such as the Strait of Mandeb, the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz and the Lombok Strait, as well as other strategic maritime centers in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Somalia.

As perceived by India, it is Chinese strategy to encircle India and gain advantage in the region. It will give China easier access to airfields and ports for military and economic operations.

As per China, the objective is economic. It will provide facilitate China to access oil and gas resources in Central Asia and other parts of the region. China imports 15% of its oil from West Africa, is the largest consumer of Sudanese oil.

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