External forces attempting to disrupt China-SL ties: Ambassador

Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan maintained that certain external forces are provoking unfounded speculation on joint mega-projects between Sri Lanka and China in order to disrupt the cooperation and create problems between the two countries in order to further their own interests.

Issuing a statement, the Chinese Embassy said the Ambassador has
expressed these views upon meeting Speaker Karu Jayasuriya last week. At the meeting, Ambassador Cheng reiterated that China attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka and stands ready to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.

“Work on the Colombo Port City Project, the Hambantota Port as well as the economic corridors connecting Colombo to Hambantota and Kandy are progressing rapidly with our joint efforts,” he said.

Ambassador Cheng denied allegations of a military motive behind China's decision to conduct friendly and pragmatic cooperation with Sri Lanka.

Responding to this, Speaker Jayasuriya thanked China for its long-term support especially following the civil war and highlighted that Chinese President Xi's Belt and Road Initiative and the idea of building a community of a shared future for mankind have been added to the United Nations' documents several times.

The Speaker stressed that all concerned are aware of the truth behind the Hambantota Port Project, which is a commercial project undertaken between two countries rather than, as some have alleged, a case of "militarization" by China.

“There are people with extremist ideas in every country and those making unfounded speculations may have their own ulterior motives. Sri Lanka attaches great importance to cooperation with China, especially with regards to the Hambantota Port Project and the Colombo Port City Project," the Speaker said.