Sri Lanka's Cabinet on Tuesday approved leasing Hambantota port to China Merchant Port Holdings, following months of delays.
The approval was announced by the ports and shipping minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Daily Mirror reported. However, it now needs to be approved by parliament.
"The cabinet approved the deal and now it needs parliament approval. We will send it for approval this week," the cabinet spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekera told Reuters.
The deal, which was initiated by the previous Rajapaksa regime, faced several hurdles under the Sirisena government as locals in the South and Buddhist clergy protested against what they described as 'the selling of land to the Chinese.'