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.
The Ambassador also denied claims that China was giving loans to Sri Lanka at a higher interest rate.
He said he had even discussed those claims with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, adding that if Sri Lanka was not happy then it did not need to turn to China for money.
“We give loans to developing countries like Sri Lanka at 2 percent interest and not 5 like most other countries,” he said.
The Ambassador also said that several social groups in Sri Lanka have sought financial support from the Chinese Embassy and when money is given it is seen as a bribe by others.
Xianliang asserted China has done nothing wrong in Sri Lanka and he urged Sri Lanka to respect the friendship shown by China towards the island. (Colombo Gazette)