China boosts bilateral ties with Sri Lanka

2024-03-27 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China and Sri Lanka signed a number of agreements on Tuesday as part of the two countries' efforts to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, customs and development partnership.

Premier Li Qiang and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who started his six-day official visit to China on Monday, witnessed the signing of the documents following their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

During their talks, Li hailed the sound development of bilateral ties, saying that China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners who sincerely support each other, with their friendship passing on from one generation to another.

Since they established diplomatic relations 67 years ago, the two countries have always respected each other and treated each other as equals, enjoying a fine tradition of helping each other in difficult times, he said.

In recent years, China and Sri Lanka have witnessed frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced political mutual trust and developed pragmatic cooperation in various fields.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October. During that visit, President Xi Jinping and Wickremesinghe reached a series of consensuses on promoting bilateral ties, including helping Sri Lanka tide over its debt crisis and concluding a comprehensive free trade agreement between the two countries as quickly as possible.

Li told Gunawardena that China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to implement the important consensuses reached by the two heads of state, in order to ensure the tree of China-Sri Lanka friendship grows stronger, mutually beneficial cooperation is more fruitful, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges are enhanced further.

China firmly supports Sri Lanka in its efforts to achieve national unity, stability and independent economic development, and is willing to work with Sri Lanka to fully promote the implementation of important projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the premier said.

He called for deepening bilateral cooperation in the fields of the economy and trade, agriculture and marine scientific research, and tapping the potential for partnership in clean energy, communications and other fields.

China encourages more Chinese enterprises to invest and start businesses in Sri Lanka, and is willing to increase imports of high-quality products from Sri Lanka, Li said. He expressed hope that Sri Lanka will provide a sound business environment for Chinese enterprises.

Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka is China's reliable partner. He thanked China for its long-term support in safeguarding Sri Lanka's national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as well as its assistance in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial debt crisis.

Sri Lanka firmly adheres to the one-China principle and will continue to firmly pursue a policy of strengthening friendly cooperation with China, Gunawardena added.


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