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Sri Lankans who once embraced Chinese investment are now wary of Chinese domination

Sri Lankans who once embraced Chinese investment are now wary of Chinese domination

A highway built by China threads almost all the way from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to this scruffy fishing town on the country’s southern tip, where Buddhist chants mark the time of day and wild elephants occasionally lumber through.

On the way, drivers pass a quiet international airport, a cricket stadium that holds wedding receptions more often than sporting matches, and a foundering deep-sea port  — all produced with Chinese loans or construction.

The thoroughfare has yet to reach Hambantota, whose dusty main road hugs the sparkling expanse of the Indian Ocean. But it’s here where Chinese ambitions to develop a maritime Silk Road have run up...

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