Apr 27 (China Military News cited from merinews) — Beijing’s decision of supporting the Lankan government in eliminating the LTTE from its very root can not be viewed as an isolated issue as the Reds have also helped the island nation earlier. In 2008, China sold huge sophisticated weapons to Colombo.
AS CHINA announced that it would support the Sri Lankan government in carrying out their operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, the pressure mounted on the Indian administration. Such a decision by the most powerful neighbour of India also underlines the possibility of the increasing Chinese power in the Indian Ocean.
Beijing’s decision of supporting the Rajapaksa government in eliminating the LTTE from its very root cannot be viewed as an isolated issue, as the Reds have also helped the island nation earlier. In 2008, China sold huge sophisticated weapons to its new partner Colombo and also gave an aid of more than five times of $1 billion. Presently, China is the largest donor to Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan Air Force is bedecked by the Chinese Jian-7 fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns and JY-11 3D air surveillance radars, which have played a major role in getting success against the LTTE rebels in recent days.
China started helping the Lankan government after the Unites States stopped sending aids to Colombo for breaching the human rights. Beijing is also influencing its decade old ally – Pakistan for providing military assistance to Lanka. The Pakistani air force also trained their Sri Lankan counterparts in precision-guided attacks.
According to Brahma Chellaney, the strategic affairs expert, China is trying to influence the Lankan government for its importance in the Indian Ocean so that the communists can make international passageway for trade and oil in future.
The Chinese engineers are presently working for a billion-dollar port in the country’s southeast, Hambantota. This would be the latest Chinese strategy to control vital maritime communication between the Indian and Pacific Oceans by assembling the listening posts, special naval arrangements and access to ports. A big highway, two power plants and a new port in the hometown of Lankan president are also under construction by some Chinese engineering companies.
New Delhi’s reluctance over the issues of Lanka helps China to increase its influence in the island nation. The continuous protest in Tamil Nadu against the Lankan government over the killing of LTTE rebels has crippled the Indian government to take a strong stand. Cashing in on the issue, China continues to aggressively pursue its strategic interests in the Indian Ocean rim.