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China says U.S. bullying countries to pick sides, attempt will not succeed

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States is bullying countries to pick sides over their ties to China, but such efforts will not succeed, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing on Friday.

The United States is urging Sri Lanka to make “difficult but necessary choices” to secure its economic independence instead of choosing opaque practices, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, in an apparent reference at China deepening its influence over the South Asian country.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley

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