In a recent interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, Finance minister Ravi Karunanayaka stated that the newly elected Sri Lankan government was seeking to be a "bridge" between its giant Asian neighbors -- India and China -- in the Indian Ocean, a region where the country is generally viewed as competitors.
Minister Karunanayake said in the interview that Sri Lanka followed a non-aligned, neutral policy for both countries and referred to Sri Lanka as a "genuine friend of India and China."
At the same time,the Minister said Sri Lanka envisioned a greater role for itself in the economic regionalism of the Indian Ocean.
The finance minister said that the Government has been working on a "rebalancing" act, resuming ties with India while not completely distancing itself from China.
The Minister emphasized that because of Sri Lanka’s Location, virtually at the center of the Indian Ocean, the island is strategically important as it stands as a maritime gateway to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.