Written by Staff Writer
06 Oct, 2018 | 9:04 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Vice President of USA, Mike Pence has launched a broad attack against Beijing, accusing China of “predatory” economic practices, military aggression against the US, trying to undermine President Donald Trump and harm his chances of winning re-election.
Addressing a gathering at the Hudson Institute, the US vice-president repeated claims that Beijing is using billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to countries across the world to tie them to the Chinese government, a practice termed as “debt diplomacy.”
During his speech, Pence referenced the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka as well.
He said that Sri Lanka is a country that was trapped in massive debt obtained from China in order to build a port with questionable commercial value. Pence continued to say that two years ago, Sri Lanka could no longer afford its payments thus pressuring Sri Lanka to deliver the newly constructed port straight to the hands of the Chinese.
However, speaking to CGTN, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake denying Pence’s attacks over the issue between Hambantota Port and China said that the country sees Hambantota as an emerging transshipment gateway for industrial traffic.
Meanwhile, speaking to News 1st, CEO of the Shippers’ Academy in Colombo, Rohan Masakorala said that the current times have created more and more forces interested in the resources of the Indian Ocean for geopolitical reasons and that as a country we must be more cautious that the ports of the country are only used for peaceful purposes. With regard to the recent incidents connected to the Sri Lankan ports, on the 30th of September 2018, two ships, ‘Kaga’ and ‘Inazuma’ belonging to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit.
On the 07th of September this year, a trio of Indian Navy ships arrived at the port of Trincomalee. While on the 01st of October, Japan’s largest warship, the Kaga helicopter carrier, arrived at the Colombo Port on a five-day goodwill visit. The 02nd of October saw the arrival of the defense Secretary of Pakistan, Retired Lieutenant General Ikram Ul Haq to Sri Lanka along with a high-level delegation, while the People’s Liberation Army Navy ship ‘Hai Yangdao’ arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit on the 04th of October.
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