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China Asks India To “Stop Disturbing” Its Exchange With Sri Lanka

NDTV (Beijing): Riled by Sri Lanka's request to defer the planned docking of a high-tech Chinese research vessel at the strategic Hambantota Port, China on Monday took a dig at India, saying it was "senseless to pressure" Colombo by citing the issue of security concerns.According to reports from Colombo, Sri Lanka has asked Beijing to defer the arrival of the Chinese space and satellite tracking research vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' which was scheduled to dock at the Hambantota Port from August 11 to 17 due to security concerns expressed by India.Responding to the reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that Beijing has taken note of the reports and asserted that "the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is independently chosen by the two countries and meets common interests. It does not target any third party".It is "senseless to pressure Sri Lanka" by citing the issue of security concerns, he said, in reference to the reports that Sri Lanka's move was attributed to concerns expressed by India."Sri Lanka is a sovereign state.

It can develop relations with other countries in the light of its own development interests," he said."China urges relevant parties to see China's scientific explorations in a reasonable and sensible way and stop disturbing the normal exchange between China and Sri Lanka," Mr Wang said.Sri Lanka is a transport hub in the Indian Ocean. Many scientific exploration ships including those from China have stopped at the port of Sri Lanka for resupplies, he said.

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