India and Sri Lanka agreed Friday to consider building a land link between them, they said during President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s first visit to the regional powerhouse, as Chinese influence grows on his island.

Establishing “land connectivity” across the Palk Strait, which in places is only around 25 kilometres (15 miles) wide, would give India access to the key ports of Trincomalee and Colombo and strengthen a “millennia-old relationship”, the neighbours said in a strategic document.

Feasibility studies on a land bridge and a petroleum pipeline will be carried out, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after their talks.