Chinese influence on the rise

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Colombo
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2009 00:12 IST

Readers of this column were recently privy to the critical piece of information that I was looking for an apartment. Well, I found one and moved too.

My former apartment is now rented to a Chinese professional.

Real estate broker Anton said that the current surge in the otherwise dull, drooping property market in Colombo is from China. “In last six months, I had at least 60 Chinese clients; both families and bachelors. Many (of them) are working in Norochcholai,’’ he said.

China is a building a 900 MW coal-based power plant in Norochcholai. At the ceremony to mark the end of the first phase, 50 Chinese Buddhist monks and martial art masters were flown in from Shaolin Temple.

The Galle Face Green, a promenade with centuries of history and heritage, is both the lungs and heart of Colombo.

These days, the road next to it has become an exhibition ground for Chinese technology. Over 100 bull dozers, earth excavators and rollers are on display.

But I am not unduly worried about the rising strategic Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. I mean, India too has presence in a port and a power plant project in east.

All I long for is some authentic Chinese influence in food; not the saccharine lemon chicken or the flame-throwing shredded chilli pork served in most Chinese restaurants in Colombo.

A couple of Cantonese chefs and a small loan from the Exim Bank of China could cook up some nice recipes easily. And my readers would be the first to know.

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