By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI and DIDI TANG
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The U.S. plans to launch a $553 million project to build a deep-water shipping container terminal in Sri Lanka as it competes with China in development financing. The announcement made Wednesday in Colombo comes five years after the establishment of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. in response to Beijing’s massive global infrastructure building campaign, known as the Belt and Road Initiative. China is the world’s largest single official source of international development finance, but the U.S. is closing the gap. Experts warn the U.S. faces a challenge in competing with China’s program as it improves the quality of projects it finances, while retaining an advantage in speed of completing them.