Pompeo and other US officials have kept up the harsh rhetoric on China, dismissing Beijing’s investments across the globe as “debt diplomacy” and alleging that it leaves poorer nations saddled with too much debt.
Briefing reporters, US officials warned the Sri Lankan government about who they team up with for their economic partnerships, without explicitly naming China.
“We encourage Sri Lanka
to review the options we offer for transparent and sustainable economic development in contrast to discriminatory and opaque practises,” said Dean Thompson, the senior State Department official for South and Central Asian affairs.
China's foreign ministry spokesman dismisssed the comments as showing a “Cold War mentality.”
After the US official’s statement, Sri Lankan government bonds fell heavily. Worries that this Covid-19 crisis could see the country struggle to pay its debts have already seen its bonds slump almost 40 per cent this year. On Friday its 2021 and 2022 dollar-denominated bonds dropped 5 cents or more, according to Tradeweb data.
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