World

Chinese president to launch port city project in Sri Lanka, in second stop on South Asia tour

  • China's President Xi Jinping, left, waves to the gathering as he walks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    China's President Xi Jinping, left, waves to the gathering as he walks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • China's President Xi Jinping, left, waves as he walks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    China's President Xi Jinping, left, waves as he walks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they disembark from an airplane upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they disembark from an airplane upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Sri Lanka, where he will help launch a new port city project funded by his government.

Xi was welcomed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The two are expected to oversee the signing of up to 20 agreements, including one for a new coal power plant.

Xi will also help launch Colombo Port City, being constructed on an artificial island off the capital with a reported $1.3 billion in Chinese loans.

The Chinese leader is visiting countries in the region to seek closer ties and support for his vision of a modern maritime "Silk Road" — a sea route connecting China with Europe. On Monday, Xi secured backing from the nearby archipelago nation of the Maldives.