Chinese energy projects near Tamil Nadu cleared by Sri Lanka

What is the News?

The Sri Lankan Government has cleared a Chinese project to set up hybrid wind and solar energy projects on three Sri Lankan islands.

Note: This development comes after Sri Lanka had recently decided to pull out of the East Container Terminal(ECT) deal with India and Japan.

About the Project:

  1. China’s hybrid renewable energy systems project is to be constructed on the three Islands namely Delft, Nainativu, and Analativu.
  2. These islands are managed by the Sri Lankan Navy.
  3. It will be implemented as a joint venture between the Sri Lankan government and Etechwin, a subsidiary of the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Gold wind.
  4. Funding: Asian Development Bank will fund the project.

Concerns of India:

  1. These three Islands are located off the northern Jaffna peninsula which is 45 km from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
  2. The delft island is in northern Sri Lanka and is one of the closest points to India.
  3. Kachchatheevu is the tiny island that India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. It is located Between Delft Island and Rameshwaram.
  4. The waters around these islands are an area of contest and rivalry between Tamil Nadu and Jaffna fishers. The matter has been on the bilateral agenda for decades.

Previous Instances:

  • In 2018, India had voiced concern over China’s $300 million housing project for war-affected areas. It accused the Sri Lankan Government of holding an opaque bidding process. The project was eventually dropped.

Source: The Hindu

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