Sri Lanka’s relationship with China has been a controversial discussion during the last decade, dominating both domestic and international political conversations. The strengthening relationship between the island nation and the emerging global power has been largely economic. Yet it is quite clear that Sri Lanka’s closest neighbor, India, and the United States are diligently monitoring these developments in the China-Sri Lanka relationship.
China has been a major economic partner for Sri Lanka. Beijing’s assistance has been crucial in saving the poorly performing Sri Lankan economy during the last three years. At the same time, Sri Lanka is compelled not to antagonize India, the closest neighbor of the island, with which Sri Lanka’s relationship runs deep and far back. The India-Sri Lanka relationship is vastly different than its ties with China.