OBOR Initiative

China to develop strategic Hambantota Seaport


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Hambantota Port, String of Pearls

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

Sri Lanka’s PM said that China has pledged to develop the island nation’s strategic Hambantota Seaport and the capital’s airport after talks with his counterpart in Beijing.

About Hambantota Seaport

  • The Hambantota Seaport, also known as the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, is a deep-sea port.
  • It is situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka and lies strategically along major international shipping routes, particularly connecting Asia with Africa and Europe.
  • The construction of the Hambantota Seaport began in 2007 and was completed in multiple phases in November 2010.
  • Sri Lanka in a controversial move signed an agreement in 2017 wherein a Chinese state-owned enterprise, acquired a 70% stake in the port on a 99-year lease.

How does this port benefit China?

  • The port is anticipated to assume a crucial role within China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI), aiming to connect ports and roadways spanning from China to Europe.
  • BRI’s foundation lies in a network of harbors worldwide, positioning China to challenge the United States as the foremost maritime superpower.
  • The port forms part of China’s ‘string of pearls’ strategy, potentially encircling India and accommodating its military vessels.



2022: Which one of the following statements best reflects the issue with Senkaku Islands, sometimes mentioned in the news?

  1. It is generally believed that they are artificial islands made by a country around South China Sea.
  2. China and Japan engage in maritime disputes over these islands in East China Sea.
  3. A permanent American military base has been set up there to help Taiwan to increase its defence capabilities.
  4. Though International Court of Justice declared them as no man’s land, some South-East Asian countries claim them.


Practice MCQ:

Which of the following statements regarding important seaports in Asia are correct?

  1. Port of Singapore is the world’s busiest transshipment port and a major hub for global shipping.
  2. Port of Shanghai, located in China, is the busiest container port in the world.
  3. Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka serves as a major transshipment hub in the Indian Ocean region.
  4. Port of Yokohama, situated in Japan, is the largest port in terms of cargo tonnage handled annually.

Select the correct option:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2, and 3 only
  4. All of the above

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