Sri Lanka's Hambantota Deal With China Likely To Appear In Mike Pence's Thursday Speech: "Terms Of Loans Are Opaque At Best"

Massive Chinese loans granted to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan government's decision to hand over the Hambantota port to China will be referred to in a speech made by US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday. 

Excerpts from Mike Pence's possible speech have been carried in the Wall Street Journal today and the newspaper says Pence will take aim at what he says are Beijing’s attempts to influence U.S. elections and global politics. 

 In his speech, Pence will point to the port project in Sri Lanka that Beijing helped finance and now may become a forward military base for China’s navy.

“The terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing, " Pence will say, according to WSJ.

According to excerpts of the speech, Pence will build on President Trump’s remarks last week at the United Nations, where the latter accused China of interfering in the coming midterm elections in an effort to derail the administration’s tough trade policies and unseat him from the White House.

WSJ says Pence’s speech is a signal to Beijing that there is a limit to the bonhomie between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, administration officials said. The excerpts provided by the White House don’t describe new actions the administration will take against China but instead sketch an ominous portrait of a country seeking to expand its global influence.

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