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China’s Cash Proves Too Irresistible for Sri Lanka to Ignore

People gather on Galle Face Green as the Port of Colombo and commercial buildings in the central business district stand in the background in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

People gather on Galle Face Green as the Port of Colombo and commercial buildings in the central business district stand in the background in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg
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Most central bankers would relish an office with an unobstructed view of the Indian Ocean’s sparkling waters. Sri Lanka Governor Arjuna Mahendran finds it dull.

He would rather see skyscrapers dotting the horizon as cargo vessels deposit containers into Colombo’s ports. Right now, piles of sand and stones remind him daily of a stalled China-backed $1.4 billion plan to build a city on reclaimed land that may attract even more investment dollars.