China and Sri Lanka have pledged to deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields to further develop the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The pledge was made when visiting Chinese top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng held talks with Sri Lankan leaders.
Yu, the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) visited the country from Thursday to Saturday on the invitation of Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.
While meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday, Yu said China and Sri Lanka were traditionally good neighbours and their people had shared a long history of exchange.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 60 years ago, China and Sri Lanka have supported each other on issues concerning their core and significant interests, with mutually beneficial cooperation bringing substantial benefits to the people of both sides, the top Chinese political advisor said.
The leaders of the two countries have jointly mapped out the strategic plans for developing China-Sri Lanka ties, and the two countries should use the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides as an opportunity to further implement the consensus reached by the leaders, maintain high-level exchanges, deepen political trust, connect the development strategies of the two countries, jointly construct the ‘Belt and Road’, boost people-to-people exchanges and consolidate friendly public opinion in the two countries so as to further push forward the strategic cooperative partnership between the two sides, Yu said.
For his part, Sirisena said Sri Lanka and China have enjoyed a long history of friendship and friendly people-to-people exchanges.
China has offered strong support to Sri Lanka for peace realisation and economic recovery, and the Sri Lankan people love and respect China, the President said.
As the development of bilateral ties has entered a new stage, Sri Lanka will continue to uphold the One China policy and is looking forward to maintaining frequent high-level exchanges, broadening economic and trade cooperation and strengthening coordination and cooperation with China on international affairs, he added.
During his meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, Yu said China-Sri Lanka relations have witnessed comprehensive development in recent years with deepening, pragmatic cooperation and positive achievements having been secured in major cooperation projects.
Both sides should give play to their own advantages, exploit cooperation potential and jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Yu said, adding that they should also push for the steady development of key cooperation projects including the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Harbour.
Meanwhile, China and Sri Lanka should speed up negotiations on the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and expand their cooperation to new areas such as tourism and industry capacity so as to achieve mutual benefits and common development, he said.
Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka was in the process of industrialisation, modernisation and urbanisation, and added that Sri Lanka looked forward to enhancing cooperation with China in the fields of trade, finance, ports and transportation infrastructure.
Sri Lanka was willing to join hands with China to build the ‘Belt and Road’ so as to speed up the island country’s economic development and boost regional economic integration, the Prime Minister said.
Also on Friday, the top Chinese political advisor met with Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Jayasuriya, telling him that China was very happy to see social stability, economic development and continuous improvement present in the lives of Sri Lankans.
The CPPCC stands ready to enhance exchanges and cooperation with the Sri Lankan Parliament to contribute to the development of bilateral relations, Yu said.
Jayasuriya said China and Sri Lanka had witnessed close contact in all sectors and bilateral cooperation has great potential.
The Sri Lankan Parliament supports the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, backs the FTA negotiations with China and expects more friendly exchanges between the two countries, he said.
Yu and Jayasuriya on Friday also attended the reception marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two hailed the traditional friendship between both countries. (Colombo Gazette)
China provides various assistances to Sri Lanka
including 90 water browser lorries
From 6 to 8 April, Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) paid an official visit to Sri Lanka to jointly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and further enhance the bilateral ties.
During the visit, Chinese government pledged to provide various assistance to ease the impacts of the adverse climate and improve the living standard of the Sri Lankan people. Chairman Yu announced that China planned to donate 90 water browser lorries worth Rs. 1 billion in total to ease the drought in Sri Lanka. The National Committee of CPPCC offered office equipments worth of Rs. 44 million to the Parliament of Sri Lanka to further improve the office facilities of Sri Lankan Parliament.
On 7 April, Chairman Yu, the Chinese senior leader, attended a foundation stone laying ceremony of China-aided OPD building complex of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka amounted Rs. 15.2 billion with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 60 years ago, China and Sri Lanka have supported each other on the issues concerning their core and significant interests, with mutual beneficial cooperation bringing substantial benefits to the peoples of the two sides.