Sri Lanka won’t allow any country to set up naval base on its territory
Sri Lankan Government has announced that they would not any country to set up naval base on its territory.
This announcement was made by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe while he was speaking at the International Maritime Dialogue at Galle, Sri Lanka.
Significance of this announcement
- The statement of Sri Lankan Prime Minister ends the apprehensions that Sri Lanka may allow China to use all or part of any of its harbours or ports for strategic naval military use.
- Major setback for Chinese strategy to increase its geopolitical influence of soft diplomacy in Asia, East Africa connectivity and so called String of Pearls Theory.
- Possibly stop Chinese long term plan to extend its sea power and geopolitical influence in the Indian Ocean. Thus, benefiting India’s influence in strategically important maritime regions connecting west with east.
Under the so called String of Pearls Theory
- China was building special diplomatic and military relationships with Pakistan and Sri Lanka for extending its reach down the Indian Ocean and secure its energy security sea lines.
- It was seeking to encircle India by setting up new strategic ports, airfields in Pakistan (Gwadar), Sri Lanka (Hambantota) and Bangladesh (Chittagong).
- Chinese intentions was to increase its geopolitical influence in the Indian Ocean region mainly to overcome several major maritime choke points for its sea lines such as the Strait of Mandeb, Strait of Malacca, Strait of Hormuz and Lombok Strait.