China defends comments by its Ambassador in Sri Lanka

chnaChina today defended comments made by its envoy in Sri Lanka, saying he had only “clarified some misunderstandings and misleading remarks” on bilateral cooperation.

“The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka exchanged views with friends from the media on China-Sri Lanka relations and the status quo of bilateral cooperation and clarified some misunderstandings and misleading remarks regarding China-Sri Lanka cooperation at a seminar,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

“The candid exchange of views on relevant cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is conducive to the sound development of bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation as they are good friends that trust and help each other,” Kang told PTI in a written response.

The Government has told China it is prepared to discuss any concerns it has after controversy arose over a statement made by China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka last week.

The Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon had spoken to the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang and noted Sri Lanka’s willingness to discuss his concerns.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Foreign Secretary had told the Chinese envoy it would be best for any concerns China has to be raised directly with the Foreign Ministry and not the media.

The Foreign Ministry also denied reports that the Ambassador will be summoned by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to raise objections to the recent comments made to the media by the Chinese envoy.

Responding to the questions raised by the media last week, Xianliang had insisted that the Chinese Government has no hidden agenda in Sri Lanka.

He also insisted that the Chinese companies involved in several projects in Sri Lanka had not offered bribes for any projects.

Xianliang warned that Sri Lanka faces the risk of losing foreign direct investments if it fails to maintain a consistent policy. (Colombo Gazette)

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