Sri Lanka has prioritised relations with China, Gotabaya tells General Wei
Posted on April 29th, 2021

Meera Srinivasan Courtesy The Hindu

Sri Lanka follows an independent foreign policy, will never bend to outside pressures, Chinese media quoted Mr. Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka has prioritised developing relations with China and firmly supports” China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe, according to Chinese state media.

The Sri Lankan President said his country has been pursuing an independent foreign policy and will never bend to pressure from major powers outside the region as well as never forge an alliance with any country,” Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors, including the military”. While specifics of the enhanced military ties are yet to emerge, Senior Sri Lankan Defence officials and the visiting Chinese delegation signed a ‘Military Assistance Protocol’, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement issued after the top Chinese official’s departure Thursday morning.

Thanking China for providing long-term and precious” support to Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa said he hoped to learn from the Communist Party of China’s governance experience on poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation, Xinhua said in its report.

China’s barb at Quad

General Wei, in his talks with the Sri Lankan leadership, seems to have reiterated his message in Dhaka on Tuesday slamming powers from outside the region” for forging military alliances in South Asia. Chinese state media quoted General Wei as telling the Sri Lankan leadership: Certain major countries are keen to form cliques and factions and seek regional hegemony, which goes against people’s shared aspiration and severely harms the interests of the regional countries. China appreciates Sri Lanka’s independent and non-aligned policy and will make joint efforts with Sri Lanka to strengthen coordination and safeguard regional peace and tranquility.”

His apparent attack on the India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quad grouping echoed reservations voiced by Sri Lanka earlier. Speaking in a webinar in October last year, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage had said: We are observing the rise of Quad as an exclusive military alliance. That is the problem. If Quad is aiming at economic revival, there are no issues.”

The Chinese Minister also held talks with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Wednesday. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said in tweet that he thanked China for extending vaccines to Sri Lanka. We also discussed post-pandemic economic recovery and steps to be taken to ensure economic stability,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay called on PM Rajapaksa on Thursday, the mission said in a tweet. High Commissioner called on Hon’ble PM @PresRajapaksa. He thanked the Sri Lankan leadership for their solidarity with #India,especially at this time of #COVID19 pandemic. He sought guidance of Hon’ble PM in taking bilateral relations in all spheres with even greater momentum,” said the tweet of the meeting, held just after the Chinese official’s visit. It comes a day after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wrote to PM Narendra Modi, expressing concern about the Covid19 surge in India, while offering special Buddhist prayers for the people of India.

2 Responses to “Sri Lanka has prioritised relations with China, Gotabaya tells General Wei”

  1. Noor Nizam Says:

    Both leaders have expressed their bondage politically and viz-a-viz International Relations very clearly to the world and the regional powers. The India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quad grouping should understand this message very clearly. These countries rather than grpouping as a military allaince should move forward to make economical stability a reality as expressed by Sri Lanka. They should begin thinking to support CPEC fully. Wonderfull friendship of the two nations – Sri Lanka and China strengthened by this visit. Let it long last for ever for the benefit of our two Nations. The opponents of our “Maathruboomiya” are crying foul about the Colombo Port City Project and slandering the government with false publicity, backed by a media that is controlled by unscrupulous business magnates who are the “gatekeepers of the media” bombarding “media metaphors” to stall the progress of our nation forward to suit the Western Powers/selfish agendas and stop our people marching forward with development and progress, peace and harmony.
    This has to be confronted upfront by the goverment, by any means, within the “Rule of Law”. A suggestion – HE. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should discuss/follow-up with the visiting Chinese Defence Minister to arrange all parliamentarians, including the opposition ones to visit the $. 46 billion “KARAKORAM HIGHWAY PROJECT” (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – CPEC.), named the “Eighth Wonder of the world” by the internationl media, in Pakistan.
    All these MP’s should be given a tour of this wonderfull highway project and the allied infrastructure projects that are being developed in accordence with this “CPEC” project. If Sri Lanka journalists and media personnel are included, that will help a lot in bringing forth a concrete “Political Communication” publicity of print, audio and visual, electronically to the masses of our “Maathruboomiya” who are being misled by the “anti-China friendship” propaganda that has been let loose by the Western allied opposition in our country.
    This will give an insight of the benefits that Pakistan is gaining economically and socially and the 11 – 14 billion sterling pounds of trade that is happening because of this project annually, even though the project is still to be finally completed. The visitors should travel the full length of the of the “KARAKORAM HIGHWAY PROJECT” from Pakistan to China to gain the best insight and knowledge of what China’s friendship project has contributed to the infrastructure, socio-economic and social welfare development of Pakistan.
    The two-way road (known as Karakoram Highway and China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is 1.300km (810 miles) long running through disputed Kashmir from Hassan Abdal (a small town near Rawalpindi and Islamabad) to Kashgar, in Xinjiang province, Western China – Pakistan: 887 km (551 miles) and China: 413 km (257 miles). It is said to be the highest paved international road in the world running between Western China and Pakistan. It’s the road to paradise if you like exploring the mountains. It’s once in a lifetime road trip for adventure lovers.
    It has been built jointly by Pakistani and Chinese engineers, technicians and workers as a joint workforce of brothers. The highway was a joint Pakistani and Chinese project and required the skills of about 24,000 workers together.
    The Colombo Port City Project in Sri Lanka will be a similar successfull project once the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill is approved by parliament.
    More over, Sri Lanka should also join the CPEC project as invited by the PM of Pakistan Hon. Imran Khan during his recent visit to Sri Lanka.
    Noor Nizam – Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP/SLPP Stalwart, Convener “The Muslim Voice” and Member “Viyathmaga”.

  2. dingiri bandara Says:

    A simple reminder to all. China never trained disgruntled Sri Lanka Tamil youth in their soil and sent them to Sri Lanka to slaughter innocent people of the country, mostly the Sinhalese and the the legitimate army.

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