Sri Lanka's new government to proceed with $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city

Sri Lanka's new government says it will go ahead with a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project planned by the previous president to avoid misunderstandings with Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping officially launched the city's development on an artificial island during a visit to Sri Lanka last September. The new government of President Maithripala Sirisena has said it wants to review all projects to ensure they are environmentally viable and corruption-free.

Cabinet spokesman Rajtha Senaratne said Thursday that the project will go ahead despite an incomplete environment assessment.

The previous government was seen as close to China, and the port city became the face of Chinese influence in the country.