India is aware of developments in Port City (spokesperson)

As Sri Lanka moves forward with the Chinese-backed Colombo port city project, India said Thursday, June 17, 2021 that it expects the island nation to remain aware of its “excellent bilateral cooperation “, including for mutual security in the maritime domain.

Asked about the project during an online press conference, Foreign Ministry (MEA) spokesman Arindam Bagchi said India was closely following recent security developments.

The country has also taken note of concerns expressed in Sri Lanka regarding several aspects of the framework of the port city of Colombo, he said.

“We hope Sri Lanka will remain attentive to our excellent bilateral cooperation, including for mutual security in our common environment, which includes the maritime domain,” Bagchi said.

His remarks come weeks after Sri Lanka’s parliament approved the controversial Colombo Port City Economic Commission bill, with the government saying the China-backed project would attract investment and boost the economy of the island nation.

Opposition parties had however alleged that the bill would lead to the creation of a Chinese colony in Sri Lanka.

The $ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project, expected to play a key role in China’s ambitious “Maritime Silk Road” project in India’s backyard, is said to be the largest private sector development in Sri Lanka.

China built the port city on a reclaimed sea, adjoining the port of Colombo.

Regarding the projects supported by India in Sri Lanka, Mr. Bagchi said that the country has a very extensive portfolio of partnership development projects in the island nation and is in regular contact with the Sri Lankan authorities. Lankans regarding their implementation.

When asked a separate question about the possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the United States before the end of the year, he said he had no information about it and that an announcement of this type of visits are made at an appropriate time.

Regarding reports that some senior Myanmar leaders have taken refuge in the northeastern states, Bagchi said the Interior Ministry should be contacted for questions of this nature.

“Regarding the situation in Myanmar, we support the ASEAN initiative and are in contact with the ASEAN countries,” he said.

To a question about media reports of US-based, Pakistan-linked charities raising funds on behalf of aid to India during the COVID-19 crisis, which could be used to sponsor charities terrorist attacks, Mr. Bagchi said: “We have seen reports in the media. in this regard. I have no further details to share at this time and we are trying to get more information. When asked if India would join the ‘Building a Better World’ (B3W) partnership announced at the G7 meeting, he said relevant government agencies would study the proposal and commit, if appropriate. , at a later stage.

In a separate question on media reports that India is the weakest link in the QUAD group, Bagchi said that now QUAD and the world know the value of the country.

“The article in question is clearly misinformed. The question of whether the article has an inherent bias was answered by a tweet from Lisa Curtis, who herself was quoted in it but dissociated herself from the overall message of the article, ”the spokesperson said. word of the MEA.

Source: The Hindu

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