Re-shaping the Sino–Sri Lanka’s Economic Relations Under the Framework of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” Initiative
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As implementation of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative continues to progress, Sri Lanka has continued to grow in importance with respect to China’s foreign development strategy. Against the background of this new developmental context, it is beneficial for strengthening the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation and promoting the development strategies of the two states to explore the reshaping and deepening of Sino–Sri Lanka economic relations. Based on existing literature and data, this paper summarizes an overview of the phases of development and characteristics of Sino–Sri Lanka economic relations, analyzes its performances and issues associated with bilateral economic cooperation. It points out that the Sino–Sri Lanka’s economic cooperation has actually entered a new phase as the development strategies of the two states have shifted along with changes in the neighboring geo-political environment since 2013. In order to further deepening this bilateral economic cooperation, we need to identify sectors of common concerns in the development strategies of two states respectively, and selectively assist Sri Lanka in reshaping its national competitiveness. This will broaden space of Sino–Sri Lanka’s economic cooperation at a higher level, and provide a model that can be referenced in promote cooperation between China and other “key small states”.