China welcomes Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Sabry’s rebuttal of the narrative of the so-called Chinese “debt trap” in Sri Lanka, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said here on Monday.
Sabry has said that when Sri Lanka went to China in search of funds, China was respectful and never forced Sri Lanka to take money. China also provided Sri Lanka with some financial facilities and credit line, as well as some humanitarian assistance, Sabry said, adding that the “debt trap” is a Western phrase.
Zhao said this is a strong rebuttal to the narrative about the so-called Chinese “debt trap” in Sri Lanka.
The spokesperson reiterated that China’s assistance to Sri Lanka never comes with any political strings attached, and China never seeks any selfish political gains from its investment and financing in Sri Lanka.
“China fully relates to the difficulties and challenges faced by Sri Lanka and supports relevant financial institutions in discussing with Sri Lanka and properly resolving them. We have all along provided support to Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development as long as our ability permits,” he said.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations, and the 70th anniversary of the Rubber-Rice Pact, Zhao said, noting that it is of great significance in building on past achievements and working for fresh progress.
China will work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the traditional friendship, cement strategic mutual trust, deepen and expand practical cooperation, and consolidate and expand the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership to better deliver benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, he stressed.