Dismissing speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit was aimed at checking China’s influence as “narrow-minded interpretation” to drive a wedge between India and China, the official media here today said the trip will not affect China-Lanka ties.
“Some foreign media’s narrow-minded interpretation of Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka as a move to tame China’s influence over the Island nation is driven by outdated geopolitical and confrontational mindset in contrary to the global trend of peace and development,” a commentary in the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
It said as the first official visit by an Indian prime minister to Sri Lanka in nearly three decades began today, “some brooked no delay to babble on New Delhi’s attempt to mitigate Beijing’s growing influence over the neighbour of India in a bid to alienate” the two fast-developing economies.
“Those ulteriorly-motivated but evident efforts, however, are destined to no avail as China-Sri Lanka relations will not be affected by Modi’s visit, but only grow stronger,” it said.
Referring to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent proposal for a trilateral cooperation between India, China and Sri Lanka, the commentary said a trilateral relationship featuring sound interaction, mutual promotion, mutual benefits and win-win results, best meets the interests of the three sides and conduces to regional peace, stability and common prosperity.
“It is also believed that the leaders of China, India and Sri Lanka have the wisdom to make correct judgment from strategic perspectives and keep relations between the three nations on a healthy track,” it said.
President Maithripala Sirisena reiterated several days ago the importance of his country’s relationship with China, calling the world’s second largest economy a “close partner” amid speculation over the suspension of a USD 1.4-billion port project as part of the China-funded extensive projects aimed at developing post-war Sri Lanka.
It said “the notion that some countries belong to others’ sphere of influence has already been tossed into the garbage can of history and the zero-sum mindset would find no ground to stand.”
“The attempts to drive a wedge between Beijing and New Delhi are doomed to fail its perpetrators as China encourages its neighbours to mend fences with one another and pursue common development and equality-based and win-win cooperation, which has long been an irreversible trend for global partnership,” it said.
As for Sri Lanka—a strong and vocal supporter and beneficiary of China’s 21st-century Maritime Silk Road construction initiative, its post-war development requires not only backing but also cooperation of all nations.
“Having proved itself a trustworthy and reliable partner, China will continue to honour its commitment to its time-honoured and resilient ties with Sri Lanka,” it said.