Sri Lankan new gov't says China's projects to continue

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Sri Lanka's newly elected government will not stop any ongoing development projects with international partners including China, officials said Wednesday.

Highways and Investment Promotion Minister Kabir Hashim and his deputy Eran Wickremaratne made the promise during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Wu Jianghao, State-run newspaper Daily News reported.

The officials said the country has no favoritism or disrespect for any country.

"We like to work hand in hand with all countries in a bid to promote our economy."

"The reality is that we have to work in the Asian region and India and China are two of our key players. So we will work very closely with these countries," Minister Hashim said.

The officials said Sri Lanka can reap high economic benefits by doing business with China, which is now a fast developing nation.

"However, we would closely look at the negative environment, cultural impacts if any to Sri Lanka," they said.

Since the end of a three-decade war in 2009, China has loaned about three billion U.S. dollars to Sri Lanka, mostly for massive infrastructure projects, helping to lay a foundation for the island country's future development.

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