Xi meets Sri Lankan PM in Beijing
  ·  2024-03-28  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency


Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who is on an official visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on March 27, 2024. (XINHUA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Beijing on March 27.

Noting that the friendship between China and Sri Lanka enjoys a long history and the two peoples share a natural affinity, Xi said consolidating and promoting China-Sri Lanka relations serves the fundamental interests and reflects the common expectations of the two peoples.

China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the spirit of the Rubber-Rice Pact, which is characterized by "independence, self-reliance, unity and mutual support," to consolidate political mutual trust, enhance exchanges of experience in governance, expand practical cooperation, and advance the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said.

He noted that China and Sri Lanka should join hands to advance their strategic cooperative partnership featuring sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship.

China firmly supports Sri Lanka in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and national dignity, and in exploring a modernization path suited to its national conditions, Xi said, adding that China will continue to provide due assistance within its capacity for Sri Lanka's economic and social development.

He said that both sides should make joint efforts to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, especially that of the two flagship projects, the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port. China and Sri Lanka should also work together to enhance logistics, energy and industrial cooperation, and promote exchanges and cooperation in digital economy, green economy, clean energy, culture-oriented tourism and marine economy.

China will continue to import more high-quality specialty products from Sri Lanka, encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in the country, and hopes that the business environment in Sri Lanka will be fair and transparent, Xi said.

He added that China is willing to advance cooperation with Sri Lanka on rural poverty reduction, to help the country with economic transformation and upgrading, and with sustainable development.

The two sides should continue to maintain the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, enhance coordination on international and regional affairs, safeguard the common interests of both sides, uphold international fairness and justice, and promote the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity, Xi stressed.

Noting that Sri Lanka and China enjoy a traditional friendship, Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka adheres unswervingly to the one-China principle, unequivocally follows the policy of friendly cooperation with China, and gives China priority on its diplomatic agenda.

He expressed appreciation for China's assistance to Sri Lanka in times of difficulty, saying that projects such as the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port have boosted Sri Lanka's economic and social development, as well as the overall development of the region.

Sri Lanka will take part in the China-proposed Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative, said Gunawardena, adding that the country will work with China to promote bilateral friendship, expand cooperation on trade and economy, education, tourism, poverty reduction and other fields, and improve international and multilateral communication and coordination.

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