China reported it was not for the United States but behind Sri Lankan Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit

China expresses concern over Mike Pompeo visit as Sri Lanka battles coronovirus

Colombo:

China opposed it after Washington made the Indian Ocean island a “difficult but necessary option” in its relations with China.

The remarks by the Chinese embassy in Colombo came shortly before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on tour in Asia, aims to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

“We oppose the United States to take the opportunity to visit the secretary of state to sow seeds and intervene in Sino-Sri Lankan relations,” the embassy said in a statement Monday evening.

China has invested billions of dollars in Sri Lanka as part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to alarm India and the United States in Asia, Europe and beyond.

The embassy said China’s relationship with Sri Lanka dates back 2,000 years, and the two countries don’t need a third party to decide on terms.

Pompeo’s visit to Sri Lanka and then to the Maldives, another island nation in the Indian Ocean, is seen as part of an effort to counter the Chinese-dominated economic presence in small countries, which has led some of them go into deep debt. leash.

Ahead of the visit, Dean Thompson, a senior official at the State Department for South and Central Asian Affairs, said Sri Lanka would have to make tough choices to secure its long-term economic independence.

China has expressed concern over Pompeo’s visit as Sri Lanka grapples with the novel coronavirus.

“Is it useful for the prevention and control of local epidemics? Is it in the interest of the Sri Lankan people, ”the embassy asked.

The embassy said a Chinese delegation headed by its top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, visited Colombo this month, but kept its staff and activities to a minimum as per guidelines, to avoid escalation. things.

“We are ready to share these practices with the United States, referring to the visit of the Secretary of State and hope to manage relations with small and medium countries,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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