Never asked Sri Lanka to allow only Chinese enterprises in Hambantota Industrial Zone: China
Posted on January 27th, 2017

Courtesy Adaderana

January 27, 2017  08:52 am

China says it has never asked Sri Lanka to allow only Chinese enterprises to operate in the Hambantota Industrial Zone, a development project which had recently sparked protests in Sri Lanka.

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying on Thursday said the agitation against the industrial zone is a result of misunderstanding.

It is learned that small-scale protests occurred mainly because the local people misconstrued relevant policies on the projects. The Sri Lankan side has made an official clarification on this,” she said at a daily press briefing in Beijing.

As the two countries are traditional friendly neighbors, China is willing to provide the best assistance it can to help Sri Lanka with its economic development so as to achieve common development, Chunying said. This is in the interests of both countries.”

She emphasized that the Chinese enterprises always discuss the Hambantota Port project with the Sri Lankan side on a voluntary basis, in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, and following market rules.

Relevant cooperation projects are expected to play a constructive role in the long-term development of Hambantota Port and other parts of Sri Lanka.”

The present Sri Lankan government recently agreed to give 80 per cent stake in the Hambantota port built by China for about USD 1.1 billion on 99-year lease.

Local people resorted to protests over alleged plans to evict them for Chinese industrial zone.

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