US Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Bill Burns on Wednesday blamed Sri Lanka's stupid bets on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka and said it should serve as a warning to other countries. "China has a lot of weight to throw and they can make a very attractive case for their investment," Burns said at the Aspen Security Forum.
The situation in Sri Lanka is a lesson for countries around the world
According to the news agency AFP, Burns said that I think there should be a lesson for many countries not only in the Middle East or South Asia, but around the world. There is a need to think openly about such deals. He further said, China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka. Strategically in the Indian Ocean, India is seen as a rival to Beijing.
US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief says Sri Lanka made 'dumb bets' on heavy China investment, reported AFP#SriLankaCrisis— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2022
Burns said at the Aspen Security Forum, China has worked with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. At the same time, the supply of food and fuel in Sri Lanka is almost exhausted. Rajapaksa fled the country and has resigned in the past to face mass protests over dire circumstances.
Rajapaksa took loan from China for airport construction
Sri Lanka has borrowed heavily from China for infrastructure projects, some of which ended up as white elephants, he said. In 2017, Sri Lanka was unable to repay a $1.4 billion loan to build a port in the south and was forced to lease the facility to a Chinese company for 99 years. Near the port, he said, is Rajapaksa Airport, built with a $200 million loan to China, which was so poorly used that it was unable to pay its electricity bill at one time. Meanwhile, Secretary Antony Blinken has also publicly blamed it as a contributing factor to the Sri Lankan crisis.