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Sri Lanka rejects US claims, says no Chinese naval base at port

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Colombo: Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected US’s claim that China might set up a “forward military base” at a strategic port it has leased to the communist nation, describing it as “imaginary”.Last year, Colombo had leased the Hambantota port to Beijing for 99 years after it failed to repay a Chinese loan of $1.4 billion for the project. China gaining the control of the port has raised concerns that the country could use the harbour for military purposes. Addressing a programme at London’s Oxford University on Monday, the PM said some people are seeing “imaginary Chinese Naval bases in Sri Lanka.”

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