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Opinion

Tilt toward China is at stake in Sri Lanka's presidential election

Candidates' foreign policy platforms have sharply different economic consequences

| Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan

Sri Lanka votes Saturday to elect a new president, yet the family names of the leading candidates are familiar. The top contenders are Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose brother held the presidency from 2005 to 2015, and Sajith Premadasa, whose father led the country from 1989 to 1993.

In terms of foreign policy, the two candidates crudely represent a choice between the continuity of current policies under Maithripala Sirisena, who repaired strained relations with India and the West, and a return to a more China-centric policy.

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