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China rejects concerns on H'bantota

18 February 2010 09:42 am - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Jamila Najmuddin


Amidst concerns by some countries that China is trying to strategically build its military presence in the South Asian region through various projects including a port in Hambantota, a Chinese official in Sri Lanka insisted that the project in Southern Sri Lanka was only for commercial purposes.

Countries such as India had raised continuous concerns over China’s presence in Sri Lanka and fears that Beijing, with the help of countries such as Pakistan, Aden and Sri Lanka plans to encircle its influence in the Indian Ocean.

However Political Officer, at the Chinese High Commission in Colombo, Zhang Xuehia told Daily Mirror online, that China’s presence in Sri Lanka in building a port in Hambantota was clearly a “commercial project” and Beijing had no other intention of being present.

“China is here to build a port only after both countries (China and Sri Lanka) decided on it. It is a commercial project and nothing more,” Mr. Zhang said.

When questioned about India’s raising concerns over China’s presence in the country Mr. Zhang refused to comment.

In August, last year, India had said that the Indian Navy has turned out to be a 'weak area' for China in the Indian Ocean and the Asian neighbour was not happy with the Indian naval presence there, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta had said. “We are in the Indian Ocean and it is not easy for them to come inside. They are not happy and concerned about this", The Naval Chief had told reporters in Chennai.

On Beijing's help to build strategically located ports in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the Naval Chief had said that China was constructing such “dependency ports” to gain access to the Indian Ocean and to be present in larger numbers in that area.

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  Comments - 28

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  • Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:36 AM

    The known devil is better than the unknown.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:42 AM

    it should be said so by GOSL not by china. this shows how weak and lame gosl is protecting our sovereignty.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:15 PM

    what so outside investment is bad? good troll

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:41 PM

    How is India a westerner...????

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:58 PM

    Ask those 'some countries' to mind their own business. I am sure those 'some countries' are the countries those who backed LTTE.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 01:27 PM

    MR is playing with fire...India vs China

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 02:05 PM

    My vote goes for China,who stood-by us at all times.
    west has dissapointed, and can NEVER be trusted!

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:16 AM

    GO CHINA - they were our friends when we needed them so rather they benefit than those who stood around and only criticized and created obstacles when we were fighting the Tigers. Dear fellow Lankans I am no big fan but we must remember our friends who stood by us when in need.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:17 AM

    South gone to China, East gone to India. Any bids for the other two lots?

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 08:12 PM

    China is not in the least interested in building-up Sri Lanka. They are only interested in themselves, and what they could get from this deal. China's Navy is expanding and so are their exports to all countries. They need forward transshipment bases for both their merchant fleet and Navy. They are simply looking-out for themselves. Don't get carried away thinking that they have 'our interests' at heart.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:23 AM

    Smoke won't come with out fire

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 08:30 PM

    And we can trust China instead? Please remember that in the world of international politics, there are no friends. Only those whose interests overlap, for a period of time. Alliances change, for various reasons. China isn't doing anything because they 'love' us. The economics associated with all their development projects, are heavily tilted in their favour, and require no 'accounting transparency.' Western money comes with many more 'strings attached,' but the economics are not as bad. China is a safe bet if anyone's plan is to 'pocket' their money and use state funds to repay them.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:28 AM

    beware-SL GOVERMENT dont be entice by any lavish funds or projects by CHINA OR any other countries

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:34 AM

    We have to take on side of the Worlds super power, China is better than US for me.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:41 AM

    If we go by past newspaper reports, the offer to build the Hambantota Port was first offered to India, which they declined.

    So why the concern now!

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:44 AM

    Rajapakshe is going to sell our country to China and go and settle down in Russia - this is his plan.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:47 AM

    China's approach if not a good sign. Rajapakshe is trying to play games.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:51 AM

    Going colours are not good for Lanka. MR is responsible for allowing foolish agreements. China will set their sea base and for sure SL will be under their claws.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:52 AM

    China is much more better than India to develop the country. Otherwise with India we will endup with full Asok Leyland, Tata and Bajaj.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:53 AM

    Cold war mounting in the pearl of Indian ocean- ( tear drop in the Asia pacific aka tsunami ocean?)

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:54 AM

    China concerns on Srilanka not H'bantota.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:54 AM

    westeners never like county like sri lanka to be developed.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:40 PM

    India must take precautionary measures, with its allies.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:00 PM

    No surprise; dictators, join with dictators.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:28 PM

    India has to be watchful of Sri Lanka's activities with others, in the Indian ocean.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:36 PM

    How come China's spokesman, became Sri Lanka's spokesman?

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:04 AM

    Super powers are not interested about this tiny island anymore, because they have Satellite Guided Missiles with pinpoint accuracy !.

    Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:10 AM

    INDIA being encircled by China in the South by S/L , Western side by Pakistan etc. Thats why India is SOFT on Sri Lanka, and helped S/L to defeat LTTE.


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