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International relations

Sri Lanka awards port project to China after dropping Japan, India

Beijing steps up Belt and Road spending with support of friendly president

Shipping containers at the main port of Colombo. Sri Lanka's location in the Indian Ocean and its deep harbors have made it strategically important under China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.    © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Sri Lanka will tap a Chinese company for a port project in Colombo, its largest city, that had been awarded to Japan and India before the partnership was scrapped early this year.

The decision highlights Colombo's balancing act and comes a month after Indian conglomerate Adani Group was awarded another deal worth over $700 million to develop the West Container Terminal at the Colombo port. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he wants to be "neutral" in Sri Lanka's relations with India and China as the nation struggles with a shortage of foreign currency.

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