India grabs opportunity to construct Sri Lanka wind farms after China shunted out
After a visit to Colombo by India's Foreign Minister, a joint statement was issued stating that the memorandum of understanding had been signed to construct the installations.
India has agreed to build three Sri Lankan wind farms on islets shared by the two countries, the officials on Tuesday stated, in a triumph for India post the project was pilled away from the Chinese firm.
New Delhi has long been concerned about the region's expanding Chinese influence. In 2020, a brawl on their disputed Himalayan border killed 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops.
The project is worth $12 million to construct wind turbines on three small islands in the Palk Strait between southern India and Sri Lanka, with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which was awarded to a Chinese firm in 2019.
However, after Indian protests against the Chinese activity close to its coast, the construction never began, and the project on the islets of Nainativu, Analaitivu and Delft was later cancelled.
After a visit to Colombo by India's Foreign Minister on Tuesday, a joint statement was issued stating that the memorandum of understanding had been signed to construct the installations.
Last week, Qi Zhenhong, the Chinese ambassador in Sri Lanka, expressed Beijing's displeasure with the project's cancellation and warned that it would send a negative signal to potential foreign investors.
India is known to be wary of China's expanding political and economic clout in the South Asian country, which is strategically situated at the southern tip of the massive Indian subcontinent.
China and India have been bidding for large infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, which is experiencing its greatest economic crisis since its 1948 independence from the United Kingdom.
Colombo has requested further loans from both countries to boost its foreign reserves and import necessities such as food, petrol, and medications.