China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and developments in Sri Lanka, but many local citizens feel the country is being sold to the Chinese. Normally the roads leading to Asian ports are bustling. Trucks loaded with cargo. Small shops where lorry drivers and workers take a tea break. Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka is starkly different.
Despite being open for seven years, the access road looks barely touched. And when we eventually found it (signage is not its strong point, and locals seemed pretty uncertain of its whereabouts too) ours was the only vehicle. Except for the few security staff accompanying us, there was no-one at the site. A car carrier eased its way out of the port, after dropping off vehicles from Asia's auto giants. But the next ship wasn't due for two days. And for a port that cost more than $1bn (£770m), that is just not enough business.