Be cautious when dealing with China: US

Every country should be cautious when working with China due to China’s lack of transparency in certain engagements, a top US Military Officer said yesterday.

Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson of the US Navy expressed these views upon asking whether the US was concerned about Chinese presence in the region particularly in Sri Lanka.

He said they were concerned about the fact that why China was now trying to rearrange the very system from which they were already receiving benefits.

“You have to work with them, we work with them or we welcome their presence, we welcome everything they are doing. They benefit as much, or maybe more than anyone else from the very system that they are now trying to rearrange. For the US, that’s a little bit of a mystery,” he told the Daily Mirror.

When it comes to initiatives like the One Belt One Road (OBOR), he said the US was challenged to understand what that’s about, where is that going to go and who benefits from that. “It is not clear to us,” he said.

He said these questions were worth asking and exploring especially as we approach decisions for new kinds of deals and new kinds of opportunities.

“Opportunities are important and you have to have them and you deserve to have them, your people deserve hope for the future and that requires investment and requires new things. But they also do not deserve to be shackled from their hopes for the future. We want to see Sri Lanka grow in prosperity for its own benefit,” he said.

Admiral Gabrielson is in Colombo to attend the Galle Dialogue-2017. He is expected to take part as a mediator of a panel of experts to talk about maritime affairs during the International Conference.

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