Infrastructure: Sri Lanka's debt to China

The prospect of large investment in a country desperate to catch up with its neighbours is doing little to ease anti-Chinese sentiment.

We have a saying here in Sri Lanka,” comments an engineer working on Sri Lanka’s first expressway. “Japanese prices high, quality good Chinese prices high, quality bad.”

There are many issues working for a Chinese contractor, the engineer told FinanceAsia.

He cannot communicate with the labourers since 80% of them are imported-Chinese workers. He also believes the contractor is taking shortcuts to boost its profit margins at the expense of Sri Lanka’s development.

“It takes a week for cement to set properly,” he explained. “The Chinese are doing it in two days.”

The road in question is Sri Lanka’s...

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