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Sri Lanka Opens Chinese-Built and Financed Railroad

April 13 (EIRNS)—Sri Lanka, which has been used by the China-bashing mob as the primary example of China’s evil “debt trap” diplomacy, doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. Instead, they continue to look to China as a leading source of funds and technical support to develop their country.

The Sri Lankan government on April 8 opened a new railroad connecting two southern cities, Matara and Beliatta, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, and constructed by China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB). The 26.75-km long railway was proudly declared open to the public by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga in the presence of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other parliamentarians.

This is the first railroad to be built in Sri Lanka since 1948, the year of its independence from the British Empire! It includes the two longest railway bridges, of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively, and the longest railway tunnel and the most modern rail station buildings in the country.

Debt trap? In spite of all the media claims that Sri Lanka is in “debt trap,” which the Schiller Institute showed are a lie in “Why China’s ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ Is a Hoax,” Sri Lanka and China continue to cooperate around new infrastructure projects, like this railway. How could a poor country, burdened with IMF and World Bank debt, come out of this trap and end its poverty without modern infrastructure—transport, power, water management, education and healthcare?

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