China refutes US act of forcing small countries to pick sides

Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Yang Jiechi during a meeting with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (not pictured) in Colombo on Oct 9, 2020. Wang Wenbin stressed that China and Sri Lanka are traditionally friendly neighbours. - AFP

BEIJING (Xinhua): A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Wednesday (Oct 28) refuted certain US officials' move to force small and medium-sized countries to pick sides.

"It is so typical of some US officials to force small and medium-sized countries to pick sides," said Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson, when commenting on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Sri Lanka. Prior to his visit, it was reported that the United States might ask the south Asian nation to make difficult choices on its relations with China.

Wang stressed that China and Sri Lanka are traditionally friendly neighbours.

"The two countries have been developing bilateral relations keeping in mind the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and cooperating based on an equal footing and mutual benefit, which has substantively improved the well-being of people of Sri Lanka," he said.

"These are facts that cannot be shaken by any smear," he said

"We will continue working with Sri Lanka to deepen and expand bilateral strategic cooperative partnership, deliver benefits to the two peoples, and contribute to regional peace and stability."

Wang added that he had come across an article written by a Sri Lankan diplomat saying the country will handle foreign relations according to its Constitution, laws and people's will, and doesn't need any external lecturing on state governance.

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