|PM Wickremesinghe Counters the Rumour of Chinese Militarization at the Hambantota Port|
On April 20, H.E. Cheng Xueyuan, Ambassador of China called upon Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to exchange views on joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative including the Hambantota Port.
Ambassador Cheng 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.
Responding to recent baseless suspicion on so-called Chinese militarization at Hambantota Port, Amb. 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.
Hon. PM Wickremesinghe highlighted that Sri Lanka and himself has 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 the implementation of the ongoing projects and attract more Chinese investment in order to promote economic and social development.
Hon. 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.