søndag 28. juli 2019

US naval base rumours in Sri Lanka spark alarm as Washington and Beijing tussle for influence in Indo-Pacific

Cambodian officials who struggled this week to swat away claims that the Southeast Asian country had signed a secret deal to allow the Chinese military to use one of its naval bases are likely to find sympathisers thousands of kilometres away, in Sri Lanka.

Authorities in the Indian Ocean island for months have found themselves pushing back – with little effect – against claims that they are making discreet plans to allow a permanent foreign presence on domestic shores. But unlike the case of Cambodia, whose supposed China tie-up was reported by The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times this week – eliciting angry denials from strongman leader Hun Sen’s government – Sri Lankan officials are facing accusations they are doing a secret deal with Uncle Sam.