ECONOMYNEXT – China’s ambassador to Sri Lanka has hit back at a Sri Lankan government MP who recently wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping challenging China’s growing presence in the island nation and threatening to abolish Chinese projects there if they are found to be mired in corruption.
Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, a now dissenting MP who represents the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), wrote to Jinping on January 04 accusing Beijing of pushing the South Asian country into a debt trap. Rajapakshe’s letter came a week ahead of an official visit to the island by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday (09).
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong told reporters on Sunday that Sri Lanka is a democracy and it is very open to various opinions, which he said is “very normal”.
“But among these different voices, if you have a fact based and not biased, you can get opinion independent and justice. You can get the right conclusion of the situation (sp),” Zhenhong said when asked about Rajapakshe’s letter to his boss in Beijing.
“This year we celebrate the 65th anniversary of our diplomatic relations and for the last 65 years, there have been different governments in Sri Lanka. There were different ruling parties,” he said.
“But China-Sri Lanka friendship and progression has always been there. I think it has shown the strength of our friendship and it has shown that two sides have benefited from our relations.”
“If the MP or some other people’s opinions are true, I don’t think our relations would have strengthened to this high today,” he said. (Colombo/Jan10/2022)