Colombo, October 26 (Global Times): China’s Embassy in Sri Lanka has objected to remarks by Dean Thompson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the South Asian country.
Thompson’s statement had openly sowed discord between China and Sri Lanka to an extreme extent by urging Sri Lanka to pick a side between China and the US, the embassy said in a statement on Monday.
“As a sincere friend of the Sri Lankan people, China is happy to see the island developing healthy relations with other countries,” the statement said. “However, we are firmly opposed to the United States taking the opportunity of the State Secretary’s visit to sow and interfere in China-Sri Lanka relations, and to coerce and bully Sri Lanka,” it added.
The embassy urged the US to take a “proper” attitude to view China-Sri Lanka relations in accordance with the actual needs of the Sri Lankan people and to stop interfering in the domestic and diplomatic affairs of other countries.
Media reports quoted Thompson as saying, “We encourage Sri Lanka to review the options we offer for transparent and sustainable economic development in contrast to discriminatory and opaque practices.”
The embassy also questioned the timing of the visit considering Sri Lanka is being asked to host a large delegation from the US which has had more than 8.7 million cases of COVID-19.
(The featured image at the top shows Dean Thompson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs)