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US counters China in Sri Lanka and Maldives by driving a wedge

Pompeo announces opening of Male embassy and calls Communist Party a 'predator'

U.S. sailors train near Diego Garcia, a small island in the Indian Ocean that serves as a crucial U.S. military base in a part of the world where Washington is intent on beefing up its presence. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

COLOMBO -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has laid the groundwork for an ideological contest in Sri Lanka and the Maldives that Washington is spoiling to wage against the Chinese Communist Party -- between democracy and tyranny.

Pompeo pulled no punches in driving this wedge during his visit this week to the strategically located Indian Ocean nations, his last swing through South Asia ahead of U.S. elections next week.

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