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* China dispels 'baseless suspicion' on Chinese militarization of Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port
Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 11:48 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 23, Colombo: China today rejected the rumors of 'Chinese Militarization' at the Hambantota Port of Sri Lanka as 'baseless suspicion'.

Ambassador of China to Colombo, Cheng Xueyuan, dispelled the rumors that China's Belt and Road initiative aims to use Sri Lanka's Chinese-built port in the Deep South for military purposes.

Ambassador Cheng made this assertion when he called on the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday (20 April) to exchange views on joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative including the Hambantota Port.

Responding to recent baseless suspicion on so-called Chinese militarization at Hambantota Port, Ambassador Cheng pointed out that there is no any military purpose for China to conduct friendly and pragmatic cooperation with Sri Lanka.

"China never interferes in Sri Lanka's internal affairs and is willing to work with the Sri Lankan side to push forward the latter's economic and social development by promoting new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, win-win cooperation, a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy today said.

PM Wickremesinghe stressed that there is no issue of Chinese militarization of the Hambantota Port at all. Sri Lankan Navy is the sole military force responsible for the security of the Port.

"Some foreign media irresponsibly hyped the question of militarization of the Hambantota Port out of their own hidden agenda. Time will eventually prove that the Hambantota Port is destined to embrace a prosperous and bright future in business," he said.

Ambassador Cheng also briefed about President Xi Jinping's keynote speech in the recent-concluded Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference, and reaffirmed that China firmly upholds and supports economic globalization.

"China attaches great importance to the relations with Sri Lanka, and wishes to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries to actively push forward the practical cooperation under the framework of BRI, so as to bring tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples,"

Premier Wickremesinghe highlighted that Sri Lanka and himself have always been strongly supporting BRI. Sri Lanka attaches great importance to mega-projects cooperation with China, especially the projects of Hambantota Port and Industrial Park, Colombo Financial City (or Port City).

"The Sri Lankan Government hopes to work with the Chinese side to accelerate the implementation of the ongoing projects and attract more Chinese investment in order to promote economic and social development," the Premier said.

 

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