China on Tuesday lent its support to Sri Lanka and said it opposed “interference” in the country’s domestic affairs, ahead of next month’s meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) where the United States is expected to put forward a resolution criticising the island nation’s post-war rights record.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, on an official visit to Beijing, was assured of Chinese support by his hosts when the UNHRC meets in March. China was, in November, among 14 countries elected to serve on the 47-member body, for a three-year term.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told him during talks on Tuesday that China “opposes some countries’ interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka under the pretext of human rights issues,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Although Mr. Wang did not appear to directly refer to either the U.S. resolution or next month’s meeting, he said China “backs the Sri Lankan government in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” and in “the Sri Lankan people’s wisdom and capacity to handle their own affairs.”
He also highlighted Sri Lanka’s importance toward building a “maritime silk road” connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans.