Investment in Sri Lanka port only for ‘normal business’, says China

May 13th, 2009 - 1:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, May 13 (ANI): China’s investment in a Sri Lankan port is “normal commercial activity,” the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, refuting a claim it was a military project.

“Any distortion of facts would be invalid,” the China Daily quoted ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying at a news briefing.

Ma was commenting on a report in The Times on May 2, saying the Hambantota port in south Sri Lanka will be used as “a refueling and docking station for the Chinese navy”.

“It’s an aid project meant to help improve Sri Lanka’s shipping and transportation,” said Fu Xiaoqiang, a senior researcher on South Asian studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

“It’s just normal business activity, like China’s projects in Gwadar in Pakistan, Chittagong in Bangladesh and Sittwe in Myanmar,” Fu said.

China has decided to offer Colombo a million dollars in cash as urgent humanitarian assistance to settle displaced civilians in north Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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