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- Sri Lanka
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- Belt and Road Initiative
The 29-year-old elephant was flown back home on a flight which cost hundreds of thousands of US dollars. The Sri Lankan prime minister previously apologized to Thailand over the animal's condition.
Sri Lanka — with its strategic location at the crossroads of busy shipping routes — has become an arena of geopolitical rivalry and maritime competition between India and China.
Sri Lanka is facing one of the worst economic crises in recent decades, triggering public anger and mass protests, which have fostered unity across ethnic and religious lines.
The high seas should be the world’s commons, but China is turning them into a wild west to be plundered.
Some security analysts worry that the canal would solve China’s famous "Malacca Dilemma" by allowing its oil tankers to avoid the narrow, crowded and vulnerable Malacca Strait and even give the Chinese navy a new route into the Indian Ocean.
'Beijing has already burnt itself in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, where the public is becoming hostile to Chinese projects. Like a chain, the Belt and Road is as strong as its weakest link and public perceptions toward China can become an existential issue for Beijing’s ambitious initiative.'
Uncontrolled and mostly illegal extraction of sand and rocks from riverbeds for construction is killing rivers across South Asia and China, and must be tightly controlled.