By KRISHAN FRANCIS
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — India has agreed to set up power projects on northern Sri Lankan islands in a deal seen as a strategic victory in its competition with China for influence in the Indian Ocean. A visiting Indian official and Sri Lanka’s foreign minister witnessed the signing Tuesday. China cited security concerns when it suspended its power projects in Sri Lanka. India considers its near-neighbor Sri Lanka to be within its sphere of influence, while the island nation also is important to China’s ambitious “One Belt One Road” infrastructure initiative. The agreement comes amid a severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka, which has sought help from both India and China.