China confident in Sri Lanka’s future devt, denies ‘debt trap’ claims

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2018/7/6 22:48:41

China is confident in the future of Sri Lanka and dismissed allegations that the island country faces a "debt trap," the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said Thursday.

Embassy spokesperson Luo Chong, together with officials from China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) and China Merchants Port Holdings, briefed the media in response to allegations that appeared in Western media, which said that China's acquisition of the Hambantota port from Sri Lanka highlights its "debt trap" and ambitious use of loans to gain influence around the world.

Luo said the so-called debt trap was a false proposition created by Western media to obstruct the joint development of China and other developing countries, including Sri Lanka.

He said that China is a very important development partner of Sri Lanka, and China had provided great support, including financial assistance, to Sri Lanka to its post-war reconstruction.

Luo noted the Chinese projects in Sri Lanka adhere to the golden rule of "extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits," and most of the major projects affect the national economy and people's livelihood.

An Xin, joint managing director of CHEC's Sri Lanka branch, said the construction of the Hambantota port was an important project based on an agreement between the Sri Lankan and Chinese governments.

"The Hambantota port was built for the Sri Lankan government and its people. We wish to jointly safeguard Sri Lanka's investor-friendly environment. The relevant media reports have distorted the facts," An said.

Tissa Wickramasinghe, chief operating officer of Hambantota International Port Group, said that since an agreement was signed between Sri Lanka and China in 2017 on the port's management, the roll-on and roll-off business of the port in the first half of 2018 reached 106,988 units, more than the full year's business in 2017.

In July 2017, China Merchants Port Holdings and State-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority signed an agreement to manage and run the operations of the Hambantota port.

Xinhua - Global Times

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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