Written by Zulfick Farzan
06 Oct, 2020 | 2:50 pm
Colombo (News 1st); The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka accused the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka of severely violating diplomatic protocols during an interview with a local newspaper.
The Chinese Embassy said the Ambassador from a third country had openly played off China- Sri Lanka relations in the interview.
“While it’s always not surprising to see the US interfere into a sovereign country’s internal affairs, the general public is still astonished to witness its despicable attempt to manipulate others’ diplomatic relations,” said the Embassy statement.
Both China and Sri Lanka as independent countries have the full right to develop relations with foreign countries according to our own needs and will, it added.
How Sri Lanka and China 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 the relations with China.
The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka further said 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 the Sri Lankans. We strongly suggest the US to quit the addiction of preaching others and applying double standards,” it added.
“Four simple but helpful advice to our arrogant friend from the other side of the world: Don’t slander other countries’ work in fighting the pandemic while topping the world in COVID-19 cases; Don’t pretend to be the guardian of free trade while violating the World Trade Organization rulings; Don’t hold high the banner of transparency while covering up its controversial MCC agreement; Don’t smear others’ normal cooperation against sovereignty while bombing foreign countries, occupying overseas military bases and imposing unilateral sanctions,” it said.
The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka added that all these ridiculous and hypocritical behavior by the US will only damage its poor international reputation which is already hanging by a thread.
The statement comes after the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka said the US would encourage Sri Lanka’s partnership with China if it is open, transparent, and mutually beneficial.
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz had told the Daily Mirror newspaper that Sri Lanka must not be vulnerable in its relationships with foreign nations.
She had said that partnerships between countries should be open, transparent, and mutually beneficent and that Sri Lanka must not be vulnerable in its relationships.
The Ambassador had expressed critical views on the loans offered by China and said that fair competition over projects would reduce costs and ensure better quality.
She observed that the terms of all but one loan offered by China to Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative had dictated that contracts and tenders must be awarded to Chinese firms alone.
Ambassador Teplitz had cited agreements signed between Sri Lanka by the United States Agency for International Development, also known as USAID, as transparent ones.
She insisted that the US wants the people to know what it is doing in Sri Lanka and that it welcomes transparency.
Further, the US Ambassador brushed off claims that it is trying to dictate terms to Sri Lanka, by stating that the US is a genuine friend that raises concerns when necessary.
Meanwhile, former Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN Tamara Kunanayakam stressed that the foreign policy of an independent state is to be determined by the state itself.
“…the government is answerable only to its own people and not some alien power,” she stressed.
Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colambage conceded that Sri Lanka would not be able to progress if it dances to the tune of other countries.
“We have to decide our strategy and then get others to dance to our destiny,” he insisted.
Colambage pointed out that Sri Lanka does not have the luxury of selling its national strategic assets.
The foreign secretary’s line of thinking is not only accurate but is highly commendable.
For many years, we have highlighted the importance of a country-centric foreign policy and the need to protect our own strategically valuable locations in the country.
When there is increased attention on the need of a “country first” foreign policy, we suggest that the Exclusive Economic Zone of 517,000 square kilometres around the country, be named the “Sea of Sri Lanka.”
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