New York Times restates Washington’s anti-China agenda in Sri Lanka


New York Times restates Washington’s anti-China agenda in Sri Lanka

Wasantha Rupasinghe

29 June 2018

On June 25, the New York Times published a lengthy front page article entitled “How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port.” The more than 3,800-word piece repeats the usual allegations manufactured by the Times, and other media conduits for Washington’s foreign policy propaganda, about growing Chinese influence in Sri Lanka.

The tone and timing of the piece is aimed at sending a clear message to Colombo: ‘US imperialism is watching you closely, do not attempt to divert from our military-strategic preparations for war against China.’

The US and its international allies have long put pressure on Sri Lanka, which is strategically located close to major Indian Ocean sea lanes straddling Asia and Africa. As a result, the island-nation has been dragged into the maelstrom of global geo-political tensions, mainly between the US and China, and Washington’s concerted economic and military offensive to undermine Beijing’s influence throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

According to the Times, China is using loans and aid “to gain influence around the world” and is willing to “play hardball to collect.” To prove this claim, the newspaper comments on China securing a majority share of Sri Lanka’s southern port of Hambantota. The facility was built during former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s rule.

Last December, after almost two years of negotiations, the current government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe formally handed over Hambantota Port to China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPH).

Under this agreement, Sri Lanka sold a 70 percent stake in the port to CMPH via a 99-year lease, while retaining a 30 percent share…

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