'Violation of basic diplomatic etiquette': India slams Chinese envoy's remarks
New Delhi/UNI: Reacting sharply to the views expressed by the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, Indian High Commission in Colombo Saturday lashed out at him, saying "his violation of basic diplomatic etiquette may be a personal trait" and his views about India "may be coloured by how his own country behaves".
The Chinese envoy to Sri Lanka Qi, without directly naming India, said that "Sri Lanka has overcome aggression from its northern neighbour for 17 times".
In response to the above, the Indian High Commission, in a strongly-worded response, said, "We have noted the remarks of the Chinese Ambassador. His violation of basic diplomatic etiquette may be a personal trait or reflecting a larger national attitude. His view of Sri Lanka's northern neighbour may be coloured by how his own country behaves. India, we assure him, is very different."
The Indian High Commission in Colombo also referred to Qi’s comments on the visit of a Chinese spy vessel to Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and said his imputing a geopolitical context to the visit of a purportedly scientific research vessel is a giveaway.
The High Commission also referred to reports of China’s debt-trap diplomacy saying: "Opaqueness and debt-driven agendas are now a major challenge, especially for smaller nations. Recent developments are a caution. Sri Lanka needs support, not unwanted pressure or unnecessary controversies to serve another country’s agenda."
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador in adverse remarks against India said, "Looking back at the great history of the island, Sri Lanka who overcome aggression from its northern neighbour for 17 times, colonization by the west for 450 years, and an anti-terrorism war for nearly 3 decades, is now still standing in the world bravely and proudly. Any infringement on the national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka shall not be tolerated."
Further, Qi said that "approving a foreign vessel's port call at Hambantota or any other port for replenishment is a decision made by the Sri Lankan government completely within its sovereignty, not to mention all the scientific research activities of "Yuan Wang 5" comply with the international law and common international practice."
Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs rejected insinuations by China that it had exerted pressure on Colombo to defer the visit of a high-tech Chinese research vessel to Hambantota port and said Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and makes its own independent decisions.