China is facing strident criticism for allegedly pushing the Sri Lankan economy into its ‘debt trap’ and for predatory behaviour such as leasing out the port of Hambantota for 99 years.
This is coming as Sri Lanka faces one of the worst economic crises.
Amidst the dire economic crisis, India’s multi-billion-dollar support to Sri Lanka has raised questions over the complaints regarding the lack of transparency in major agreements with the Indian government or private entities, reported E-International Relations, the world’s leading international relations website.
Similarly, Sri Lanka has also criticized two maritime security pacts signed with India in March which, it said, pose as “threats” to Sri Lanka’s national security and sovereignty.
China’s control over the port in Hambantota has even raised concerns in Sri Lanka, ANI reported.
Sri Lanka granted the Hambantota port to the Chinese on a 99-year lease but is now facing the brunt of repaying the debt. According to the Sri Lankan citizens, they do not have any issues with handing over the port but oppose the fact that the leaders use it for personal benefit.
Initially, the Chinese government demanded 80 per cent of the portland share including full control of security.
But, upon receiving pressure from the neighbouring countries including India, the Chinese government agreed to a 70 per cent share.
Currently, Sri Lanka is grappling with food and electricity shortages, affecting many people. Such an economic crisis has forced Sri Lanka to seek help from its neighboring countries to provide them with basic amenities.