Business Standard

Sri Lanka leased Hambantota port to China for 99 yrs. Now it wants it back

The port is emblematic of the controversy dogging Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative from Kenya to Myanmar

Hambantota
Premium

Hambantota port. Credits: Bloomberg

Anusha Ondaatjie and Asantha Sirimanne | Bloomberg
Sri Lanka’s new government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to undo the previous regime’s move to lease the southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese venture, citing national interest.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2017 changed the terms, saying it would be difficult to pay the loans taken to build the project. He agreed to lease the port for 99 years to a venture led by China Merchants Port Holdings Co. in return for $1.1 billion. That helped ease the Chinese part of the debt burden raised to build the port, Wickremesinghe said in an interview in 2018.

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Nov 29 2019 | 10:07 AM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on business-standard.com are available only to BS Premium subscribers.

Register to read more on Business-Standard.com