China sends special envoy to mend ties with Lanka

02-3In a significant move, China has dispatched a special envoy to Sri Lanka, where major Chinese investments are being reviewed since a Beijing-friendly president was ousted from power in January and a recent parliamentary election reinstated a national unity government seeking a more neutral foreign policy.

Beijing has appointed Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin as the first special envoy for the strategically located Indian Ocean nation since the parliamentary elections in August. His visit comes on the heels of back-to-back trips by the newly elected prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to India and Japan, the South China Morning Post reported.

With extensive experience as an envoy to the United Nations, Liu has visited Sri Lanka several times, including once last year.

The UN recently passed a major resolution on war crimes during the final years of the civil war between Colombo and Tamil rebels.

“The purpose of the special envoy’s trip is to congratulate the prime minister and probably invite him to undertake a China trip, now that he has visited Japan and India,” a Sri Lankan official said. “There has been no high-level interaction between China and Sri Lanka since the August elections. The US, on the other hand, sent two assistant secretaries of state just days after the election. There have also been high-level interactions on the just-concluded UN General Assembly, apart from the prime minister’s visit to Delhi and Tokyo.”

China pumped billions of dollars into infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka during the corruption-tainted presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. The new government alleges these projects were contracted out on unequal terms favouring Chinese companies. Nearly 70 per cent of the infrastructure projects in the country in the past six years have been funded by China and built by Chinese companies.

The most controversial is Colombo Port City, a real estate reclamation project the size of Monaco. The US$1.4 billion project, which would have been the biggest foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka, was shelved after Rajapaksa lost power.

Inaugurated by President Xi Jinping in September and financed by state-controlled and Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction Co (CCCC), the stalled project has become a bone of contention between Sri Lanka and China, which sees it as a barometer of Colombo’s commitment to maintaining good relations.

7 COMMENTS

  1. If the government will not maintain a balance foreign policy results will come soon. Look like pro western policy with American oriented going to be started. President must take appropriate action in this regard.

  2. Sri lanka’s is ongoing that re-coloinilaztion has begin after 2015 January 9th. The new projects has been drafted by UN Human right commission on an issues of ‘war crime’ by US sponsored resolutions.
    The aim of resolution is New methods by US for test run for newly colonial state to be re-established by an Island of Indian Ocean -Sri lanka.

    This US resolution against sovereignty unity and unitary state of Sri lanka support by Indian -RAW>

    US and Indian want stop all Chinese an investment and Trade with Sri lanka.
    This is new selection by US & Indian ruling classes. As well as to be re-colonialized our nation and eradication of Sinhalese Race and Buddhism from Island- Sri lanka .
    This is very important political projects of US and Indian ruling classes. They want China out of this region and Sri lanka remain as poor country in Indian Ocean.

    Will of US and Indian is that people of all Sri Lankan be surrender to US hegemony.

  3. Today Sri Lanka is living in peace with the end of 30 years of misery and destruction caused by terrorists, thanks to major assistance provided by China and Pakistan.
    Today Sri Lanka is a middle income nation with mega development taking place all over the country, funded mainly by China, when India and the West were merely making empty promises.
    Sri Lanka having antagonised the Muslims, which was a major reason that lead to the defeat of the previous government, Sri Lanka cannot also lose hitherto steadfast friends like China and Pakistan.

  4. China is on the right track, it has to examine its foreign policies with all other countries, especially with the Asians countries every three months and close all the gaps; so the West can’t get in to create divisions. Asians must work hard tirelessly, if they want to beat the West which has been ruling the world for the last 700 years.

    • Well said! Also the Chinese will tell Maithripala “We the Chinese are bailing out the usa, uk & europe”…..implying please don’t go with a begging bowl to the old colonial powers because you will come back with it empty”

      • Asia can’t be peaceful and prosperous without China. Therefore, India, Japan and rest of Asia can’t remove China from the equation to replace the West. Nevertheless the West will continue to imply that Asia is better off without China. The West’s job is dividing others to keep themselves on the top. I am well aware how the West uses Tamils to isolate me, including my family members, relatives and friends. This country has a track record of fighting the longest civil war in Asia, therefore I don’t worry too much if they collaborate with my enemies. Asia has a long way to go, therefore every Asian intellectual’s job to guide the leaders, including the Chinese Communist Party leaders. If China fails as Japan had failed in the 1930s and 1940s, not only China failed, but Asia failed.

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