The US-led initiative was created to antagonize Beijing, Sri Lanka’s president has said
FILE PHOTO: President Ranil Wickremesinghe visits the Army Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka © Global Look Press / Ruwan Walpola
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has condemned the AUKUS pact as an alliance designed to target China, calling it a “strategic misstep,” and insisting it will only divide Asia into rival camps and destabilize the region.
Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday, Wickremesing he took aim at AUKUS, which was formed by the US, UK, and Australia in 2021. “I don’t think it was needed,” he said.
“I think it’s a strategic misstep. I think they made a mistake,” the president stated. “It is a military alliance moved against one country – China.”
Wickremesinghe went on to say that Sri Lanka wants no part in the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing, adding that his country would like to maintain good relations with both powers and does not wish to see Asia divided into competing blocs.
“The next round of rivalry is going on. And that’s taking place in Asia. It’s the question of China versus the US, on how they are going to divide their region of influence in Asia,” he said. “Why are we getting pulled into it? It’s difficult for us to understand.”