Chinese Op-Ed condemns US ‘security’ projection of ‘China threat’ in South Asia

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 December 2019, 21:28 GMT]
“China does not object to the development of cooperative relations between the US and other countries. However, some US steps in the guise of a response to the so-called China threat theory aim at affecting China's overseas security interests and interfering in the BRI. China is firmly opposed to such moves,”  Global Times, the English version of the paper operated by the Communist Party of China, said in an Op-Ed piece on Tuesday. “Sri Lanka has an important strategic position in the Indian Ocean, and its significance is increasingly valued by major countries. It will be the new [Gotabaya] government's strategic choice to strike a diplomatic balance and avoid being involved in the conflicts between great powers,” the piece further said.

Washington regards all South Asian countries an essential part of its Indo-Pacific Strategy, the op-ed observed that the recently issued US Department of State report on “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision,” as claiming that US was helping Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives "equip and train their navies and coast guards to safeguard strategic sea lines of communication."

The op-ed was also criticising Western media outlets stating that they were “hyping up” China's presence in the island, which is regarded by India as its “backyard”.

“[Gotabaya] Rajapaksa's recent statement may be his strategy to make it look that he is not as pro-China as media have described, to ease India's geopolitical concerns. He may also need to show his disapproval of Sri Lanka's former government's policies,” the op-ed said.

“Besides, it is possible that Rajapaksa was only making a statement on the specific agreement and hoping to negotiate with China for an adjustment.

“Generally, China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperation is reciprocal, and the two countries can negotiate the specific projects on the basis of legal contracts and cooperation,” the paper further said.

The Op-Ed piece, written by Global Times reporter Li Qingqin, was based on an interview with Qian Feng, a research fellow at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University.

External Links:
Global Times: Sri Lanka has to strike balance in China ties



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