Colombo, October 6 (newsin.asia/agencies): China on Tuesday asked the United States to quit the habit of lecturing other countries about safeguarding sovereignty when it is violating it by nakedly interfering in other countries, breaking WTO rules and imposing unilateral sanctions.
Responding to the US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz’s interview to Daily Mirror recently, in which she had asked Sri Lanka to be mindful of its sovereignty in dealing with China, the Chinese embassy said in a statement that envoy had “severely violated diplomatic protocol” by commenting on host country Sri Lanka’s relations with a third country, China.
The statement said that the envoy’s conduct had come as a “great shock”.
“While it’s not surprising to see the US interfering in a sovereign country’s internal affairs, the general public are astonished to witness its despicable attempt to manipulate others’ diplomatic relations. Both China and Sri Lanka, as independent countries, have the full right to develop relations with foreign countries according to their own need and will. “
“The way Sri Lanka and China have engaged with each other has repeatedly stood the test of time, and the government and the people of Sri Lanka have their own independent and fair judgment on their relations with China.”
“The US has no power or obligation to lecture on China-Sri Lanka relations. Such naked hegemony, supremacy and power politics will neither be tolerated by the Chinese nor be accepted by Sri Lankans.”
“We strongly suggest that the US quit its addiction to preaching others and applying double standards,” the statement said and listed “four simple and helpful steps” that Washington should take to repair the damage to its international reputation. The four don’ts are:
- Don’t slander other countries’ work in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic while topping the world in COVID-19 cases.
- Don’t pretend to be the guardian of free trade while violating the WTO rulings.
- Don’t hold high the banner of transparency while covering up the controversial MCC agreement.
- Don’t smear others’ normal bilateral cooperation by raising the issue of sovereignty while bombing foreign countries, occupying overseas military bases and imposing unilateral sanctions.
“Such ridiculous and hypocritical behaviour will only damage the US’ poor international reputation which is already hanging by a thin thread,” the statement said.
The Controversial Interview
Earlier In the interview to the Colombo-based Daily Mirror, US Ambassador Teplitz questioned China’s trade deals with Sri Lanka and asserted the need to ensure that global standards of free trade and a fair investment climate are in place for the benefit of Sri Lankan and US businesses.
Teplitz noted that the US believes partnerships between countries should be open, transparent, and mutually beneficial – and if this is what Sri Lanka’s relationship with China embodies, then the US will encourage it.
“Our concern is that Sri Lanka is not vulnerable in its relationships, and that this country is able to negotiate the best deals supporting sustainable, environmentally sensitive, and affordable results,” Teplitz said.
She noted that a 2019 World Bank study concluded that more than 60 percent of PRC-funded BRI projects are allocated to Chinese companies and stressed that tender processes are opaque.
‘The World Bank called for open and transparent public procurement to increase the likelihood that BRI projects are allocated to the firms best placed to implement them. Sri Lankan think tank Verité Research analyzed 50 high value loans from the PRC to Sri Lanka. All but one loan (where data was available) were 100 percent ‘tied’ – meaning the loan terms dictated that contracts and tenders be awarded to Chinese contractors, limiting the ability of Sri Lankan and global firms to compete for these projects. Fair competition would lower prices and ensure better quality,’ she said.
The Ambassador noted that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and it is not up to the United States to dictate the quality of Sri Lanka’s partnerships, but the US does believe it is better for countries if transactions are transparent and cost-effective, and if they create jobs and other material benefits for local people.
“It’s important that global standards of free trade and a fair investment climate are in place for the benefit of Sri Lankan and U.S. businesses,” Teplitz said.