Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Comment on Australian Senator's Accusation Against China
2018/10/05

On October 5th, Federal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, in her article published in The Australian, once again made unwarranted invective and blatant slander against China on its economic cooperation with the Pacific Island Countries. The ridiculous and absurd allegation, filled with cold-war mentality, reflected the senator’s prejudice, arrogance and ignorance. Earlier this year, she made some similar irresponsible claims, which were questioned and refuted by many Island Countries. China also expressed its solemn stance.

The senator this time, in repeating the cliché of the so-called “debt trap”, attempted to prove her baseless accusations by quoting Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and citing the case of Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka. In fact, however, Prime Minister Pohiva has already clarified his earlier remarks, making it clear that “China has never claimed to collect the debts or take the assets from Tonga in any way, and the governments of Tonga and China have maintained contacts regarding the repayment of the concessional loans.” Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, has also publicly stated, that “Sri Lanka was not falling into a debt trap caused by high-interest Chinese loans” nor “ceding control of strategically vital ports to Chinese control”.

One can never win respect by smearing others. Whether China's assistance is productive or not, and whether it is a pie or a pitfall, the people of the Island Countries have the best say. Over the years, China has provided assistance to relevant Island Countries within its capacity and with no political strings attached, based on fully respecting the will of the Pacific Island Countries' governments and people and taking into full account of their development needs. China has also actively carried out mutually beneficial economic cooperation with these countries. All this has effectively promoted the economic and social development of Island Countries, and been widely appraised by them.

Cooperation between China and the Island Countries is transparent and open. No one could deny the positive outcomes delivered by such cooperation with their assumption or imagination. Any attempt to obstruct the development of relations between China and the Island Countries is doomed to failure.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283990
E-mail: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn
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