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Sri Lanka Disputes Allegations of Potential Chinese Military Base Amid U.S. Intelligence Claims

Sri Lanka has rebuffed recent assertions from US intelligence suggesting potential plans for a Chinese military base on its territory.

State Defence Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon informed the Daily Mirror that Sri Lanka has not engaged in any discussions with foreign governments, including China, regarding the establishment of a military base within its borders.

Responding to the US claims, the State Minister emphasized, “Sri Lanka has not held discussions with any foreign government, including China, for a possible establishment of a military base here in Sri Lanka.”

In its annual threat assessment 2024 report released this week, the US Intelligence Community indicated that China is exploring the possibility of setting up military facilities in various countries, including Sri Lanka, aiming to strengthen their power projection capabilities and safeguard national interests.

Disputing the claims, the minister stated, “The US intelligence report on the possible establishment of a Chinese military base in Sri Lanka is inaccurate; we vehemently deny these claims.”

The State Minister affirmed that Sri Lanka will not allow any foreign country to establish military bases within its borders under any circumstances.

The US report also mentioned, “Beyond developing its military base in Djibouti and its military facility at Ream Naval Base in Cambodia, Beijing reportedly is considering pursuing military facilities in multiple locations, including—but not limited to—Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and the UAE.”

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