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Belt and Road

China presses economic buttons to deepen Indian Ocean clout

Wang Yi's tour of Sri Lanka, Maldives and others sends message to India and U.S.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, center, tours the Colombo Port City project during his visit to Sri Lanka on Jan. 9.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi kicked off 2022 diplomacy by signaling a renewed development push in the Indian Ocean region, where Beijing is locked in an intensifying geopolitical contest with India and the U.S.

The top diplomat hinted at a new economic network for nations that share the waterway during his visit to Sri Lanka this past weekend -- the final leg of a weeklong five-country trip that included the Comoros and Maldives, as well as the littoral East African countries of Eritrea and Kenya.

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