China-Sri Lanka relations will not be affected by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit but only grow stronger, a commentary in the Chinese media said on Friday.
“Some foreign media’s narrow-minded interpretation of Modi’s visit as a move to tame China’s influence over the island nation is driven by outdated geopolitical and confrontational mindset,” said Xinhua writer Sun Ding.
The writer said that as Modi began the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister to Colombo since 1987, “some brooked no delay to babble on New Delhi’s attempt to mitigate Beijing’s growing influence over (Sri Lanka) in a bid to alienate the two most populous and fast-developing economies.
“Those 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,” the writer added.
The commentary said “China welcomes a thaw in Sri Lanka-India relations troubled by a decades-long civil war in the Island nation against the Tamil Tiger rebels, as it is in the interests of all three parties.”
The Xinhua commentary quoted President Maithripala Sirisena as saying that Sri Lanka knows the importance of his country’s relationship with China.
It added: “The attempts to drive a wedge between Beijing and New Delhi are doomed to fail…
“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.
“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 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.”