(AFP) – China warned the United States not to “coerce and bully” Sri Lanka ahead of a visit Tuesday to the strategically-placed island by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo is anticipated to ask Colombo to make “difficult” decisions on its blossoming relationship with Beijing throughout his visit.

“We are firmly opposed to the United States taking the opportunity of the State Secretary’s visit to sow and interfere in China-Sri Lanka relations, and to coerce and bully Sri Lanka,” China‘s embassy in Colombo mentioned.

The prime US diplomat for South Asia, Dean Thompson, mentioned firstly of Pompeo’s four-nation tour of Indian Ocean nations — India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia — that he’ll ask Colombo to assessment choices provided by Washington.

The US visit comes lower than three weeks after Yang Jiechi, a Chinese Community Party politburo member, pledged extra financial assist to Sri Lanka throughout a visit.

Colombo has leaned closely on China for loans and diplomatic assist to struggle off allegations of human rights violations, significantly within the ultimate months of a brutal decades-long civil warfare.

Washington has insisted on credible investigations into fees that Sri Lankan troops killed no less than 40,000 civilians whereas crushing Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the island’s prime defence official and his brother Mahinda was president when the ultimate onslaught was carried out. Mahinda is now prime minister.

Pompeo is anticipated to elevate rights points when he meets the Rajapaksas Wednesday in Colombo which is below a partial lockdown as a result of of a surge in coronavirus infections.

He can also be to place a wreath at St Anthony’s church the place 56 individuals had been killed when jihadists carried out coordinated suicide bombings final 12 months. Five Americans had been amongst 279 individuals killed within the Easter Sunday assaults on three church buildings and three lodges.