China says that co-operation with Sri Lanka is ‘equal and mutually beneficial’ and that it is not targeting any third party or setting a “debt trap”.
“It is not tenable to claim that China’s loans are causing problems for Sri Lanka,” Zeng Rong, the Spokesman to the Chinese Embassy in the UK said.
This was stated in a letter issued in response to an article published on the Financial Times with the title “Sri Lanka turmoil points to China’s increasing role” (November 16) which had claimed that China is “becoming a supplier of political instability” and sets a “debt-trap” for Sri Lanka and other countries.
The spokesman said that China and Sri Lanka have long been friendly neighbours that always support each other in their major and core interests. The co-operation between the two countries is win-win and mutually beneficial, he said.
Such co-operation has delivered tangible benefit to the people of Sri Lanka, he added.
“China is not competing with any country to seek so-called regional dominance. China-Sri Lanka co-operation is equal and mutually beneficial. It is not targeting any third party or setting a “debt trap”,” he said.
He stressed that by 2017, China’s loans to Sri Lanka accounted for only about 10 per cent in Sri-Lanka’s foreign debts, while Japan accounts for 12 per cent, and the Asian Development Bank 14 per cent.
“It is not tenable to claim that China’s loans are causing problems for Sri Lanka,” Zeng Rong said.