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China-funded port project in Sri Lanka "commercial activity," FM spokesman
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19:43, May 12, 2009

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China said Tuesday the Hambantota port project in Sri Lanka was a normal commercial activity.

"Any attempt to distort the facts would be invalid," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters. He was commenting on a report by the Times of London, which reported on May 2 that China was building a port in south Sri Lanka "as a refueling and docking station for its navy."

Ma said China was committed to developing friendly relations with Sri Lanka based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

He also said it was the common aspiration of everyone in Sri Lanka to maintain social stability and economic development and achieve national reconciliation.

The 15-year port project, funded by China, began in 2007. The project is intended to improve shipping, trans-shipping, shipbuilding and trade facilities at the Port of Colombo.

Source: Xinhua

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