Colombo: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday reaffirmed his commitment to the "one China policy" as well as to the UN Charter principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.
His remarks came after meeting with China's envoy to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenghong Ambassador today.
"During a meeting with H.E. Qi Zhenghong, Ambassador of China, I reiterated Sri Lanka's firm commitment to the one-China policy, as well as to the UN Charter principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations," Wickremesinghe tweeted.
The Sri Lankan leader said that countries must refrain from provocations which further escalate the current global tensions.
"Countries must refrain from provocations which further escalate the current global tensions. Mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries are important foundations for peaceful cooperation and non-confrontation," Wickremesinghe said.
Amid the political and economic imbalance, Sri Lanka had asked China for help and asked for a USD 1 billion loan to meet repayments, and a USD 1.5 billion credit line to buy Chinese goods, however, no progress was attained even after months of negotiations and China shifted the blame for the crisis to the borrower country.
Many Sri Lankans were of the view that the Chinese' muted response amid the unprecedented crisis amounted to humiliation. Sri Lanka has become a cautionary tale of misgovernance and misfortune as the sweeping impact of the pandemic crushed the vital tourism sector, and then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted global supply chains and accelerated the inflationary spiral that dragged Sri Lanka's economy into an abyss.
Sri Lanka's over-reliance on China as a development partner proved wrong as China's predatory debt diplomacy increased the foreign debts of the nation and amplified the crisis.
As the country slid into a foreign exchange crisis, China just came forward with a proposal for a paltry USD 500 million concessionary loans for 10 years to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and showed a willingness to renegotiate only a handful of Chinese debt, standing close to USD 6.5 billion and constituting more than 10 per cent of Sri Lanka's total foreign debt over USD 50 billion.
Additionally, China did not entertain Sri Lanka's request for debt deferment of around USD 2.5 billion saying there is no such provision in their financial system, instead it evinced interest to consider providing a loan to repay debt due to it.
This year Sri Lanka needs to repay over USD 1.5 billion to China alone for debt servicing, the report stated further.
Earlier today, ASEAN reiterated its support for 'One China Policy.' Prior to that, Pakistan reiterated its stands by its policy.
Meanwhile, China today began military drills around self-ruled Taiwan, over which it has claims. The drills started hours after the departure of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. —ANI