Asia Briefs: Sri Lanka to sell deep sea port to China

Sri Lanka to sell deep sea port to China

COLOMBO • Sri Lanka yesterday said it will proceed with the billion-dollar sale of a deep sea port to China, despite protests, in an effort to slash its foreign debt.

Hambantota port straddles the world's busiest East-West shipping route and several countries, including neighbouring India, had raised concerns that China could use it for its own military needs. The port, built in 2010 with a huge loan from China, has failed to generate enough business to even pay staff salaries.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would sign off today on the US$1.12 billion (S$1.5 billion) deal with China Merchants Port Holdings to jointly manage the facility.


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China fugitive official confesses to graft

BEIJING • A Chinese woman who topped a list of the country's most-wanted overseas fugitives yesterday confessed in court to corruption, state media said, eight months after she turned herself in.

Yang Xiuzhu, a former deputy mayor of Wenzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang, had been on the run for more than 13 years before returning home last November from the United States in a blaze of publicity.

Xinhua said she confessed to corruption and bribery charges during a trial.


Cambodia charges Briton with sexual assault of girl

PHNOM PENH • A Cambodian court has charged a British man, who allegedly sexually abused a five-year-old female pupil, with sexual assault, according to a court spokesman.

Mark Andrew Smith, 39, a father of two, was arrested last Friday when he left the Golden Bridge International School in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Smith, the school's deputy principal, is accused of sexually abusing the little girl at his home.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe