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China & Sri Lanka do not need third party to handle relations with each other: China tells US

Oct 27, 2020 (LBO) – China and Sri Lanka have enough wisdom to handle relations with each other and do not need a third party to dictate, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Sri Lanka said in a strongly worded statement, few hours ahead of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Island.

“The people of China and Sri Lanka have a history of friendly exchanges for nearly two thousand years. We have enough wisdom to handle relations with each other and do not need a third party to dictate,” the statement said.

“As a sincere friend of the Sri Lankan people, China is happy to see the island developing healthy relations with other countries. However, we are firmly opposed to the United States taking the opportunity of the State Secretary's visit to sow and interfere in China-Sri Lanka relations, and to coerce and bully Sri Lanka.”

On 22nd October, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dean Thompson during a press briefing on Secretary Pompeo's upcoming visit, urged Sri Lanka "to make difficult but necessary decisions" on its foreign relations.

On the next day, the Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that the remarks of the US official were filled with Cold War mentality which fully exposed the US practice of arbitrarily interfering in other countries' domestic and foreign policies and forcing small and medium-sized countries to choose sides.

However, at the cabinet press briefing held today, Co-cabinet Spokesperson Udaya Gammanpila said that the Sri Lankan government is committed to maintaining its sovereignty and to maintain cordial relationships with both the United States as well as China.

"We will ensure that Sri Lanka would not be a battleground of the superpowers; that's for sure," Gammanpila emphasized.

"The MCC agreement or the SOFA agreement will not be signed during the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit.
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Related: US Secretary of State to undertake official visit to Sri Lanka

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