India’s Air Chief Marshal strengthens Sri Lanka ties amid China’s influence
Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, recently met with Sri Lanka’s top military leaders during his four-day official visit to the island nation. During his visit, he exchanged views on several matters of bilateral importance and recalled the longstanding friendship between the two countries. The visit is part of India’s commitment to capacity building of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, and as a gesture of goodwill, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari presented AN-32 propellers to ensure high operational readiness of the aircraft held with the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The visit also included meetings with the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Commandant of the National Defence College, Sri Lanka. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also delivered a talk on the transformation of the Indian Air Force to senior Sri Lankan Armed Forces officers. The visit is expected to enhance the existing professional ties and bonds of mutual cooperation between both nations. India’s concerns come amidst China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka, with Beijing loaning billions of dollars to Sri Lanka as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to build infrastructure in Asia.