"Navigating Sri Lanka’s Strategic Interests through BIMSTEC"
The ‘South Asia’ project and its geography has been substantially altered in the past decade, with India being effectively marginalized by China both within the continental and maritime space. When China joined SAARC as an observer country in 2005, it had been supported by most member states. Hence, in November 2014 during the 18th SAARC summit in Nepal, China signaled that it desired to become a full-member state. Ever since China has been engaging with countries in South Asia through the Belt and Road Initiative of Xi Jinping. While Nepal is in the cradle of (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) BBIN and Sri Lanka with Myanmar and Thailand with members of BBIN comprise BIMSTEC, a Bay of Bengal community is gaining traction. Sri Lanka considers itself as an important maritime country with a strategic presence in the Indian Ocean and rightly so. This trend must be continued through BIMSTEC.
(Views expressed are authors own)