China hits back at Pompeo's 'debt-trap' diplomacy claim
Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/13 22:55:39
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is like a tape machine continuously playing an "anti-China" message, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, in response to the US politician's claim that China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was a kind of debt-trap diplomacy.
Zhao accused Pompeo of mendacity, saying that his claims are another example of the US diplomatic approach of lying.
"So far, no country that has joined the BRI has faced a debt plight as a result; instead, many partners have made positive comments about the initiative," Zhao said.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday refuted smears by some Western countries. "Many geo-political analysts interpret this project as a 'debt trap' set up by China to gain control over Sri Lankan affairs. I want to prove that it is not the case," he told a visiting Chinese delegation led by senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi.
The president recognized China's huge contribution to Sri Lanka's infrastructure and said that Sri Lanka is willing to promote key cooperation projects such as the development of Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation.
The BRI is guided by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits; an open, green and clean approach; improvement of livelihoods; and sustainable development, Zhao stressed. He also noted that relevant parties in BRI projects conduct cooperation to ensure sustainability in terms of economics, society, finance and the environment.
"We believe that anyone who objectively assesses and studies BRI projects will come to the right conclusion," he said.
Any smear or attack is in vain given the facts, Zhao said, adding that many countries have given their answer by signing over 130 BRI cooperation contracts.
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