China and Sri Lanka strengthen ties

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed that China and Sri Lanka, while ensuring COVID-19 prevention and control, gradually resume practical cooperation in various fields, advance major cooperation projects in an orderly manner and promote the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road initiative.

According to Xinuha News Agency, President Xi made these remarks in a telephone conversation held last evening with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, during which the Chinese President said that such efforts will provide impetus for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.

President Xi recalled that various sections of Sri Lankan society offered China active support at a critical moment in China’s fight against the coronavirus disease, with many moves which China recognized as particularly heartwarming and touching.

The Chinese President had noted that under President Rajapaksa’s strong leadership, Sri Lanka has effectively contained the spread of the epidemic, adding that China stands ready to continue to provide firm support and as much assistance as its capacity allows, in line with Sri Lanka’s needs.

The Chinese president had also expressed his confidence that the people of Sri Lanka will certainly defeat the epidemic at an early date.

President Xi Jinping meanwhile thanked the government and the public for taking care of Chinese citizens in Sri Lanka during the pandemic, and said the Chinese side will continue to ensure the safety and health of Sri Lankan citizens on its soil.

China, he added, is willing to work with Sri Lanka and the broader international community to continue to support the World Health Organization in playing a leading role, promote global cooperation on joint COVID-19 prevention and control, and win the battle for the safety and health of all people across the world.

Xi Jinping further stressed China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperation partners that enjoy sincere mutual help and an everlasting friendship, adding that friendly ties and mutual trust have withstood various tests and been uplifted once again in the joint fight against the pandemic.

In response, President Rajapaksa said that under Xi’s strong leadership, China’s fight against COVID-19 has made remarkable achievements, and the Chinese people have demonstrated extraordinary wisdom and strength.

Noting that Sri Lanka and China enjoy a long-running friendship with cooperation in various fields advancing smoothly, the Head of State said China has over the years provided tremendous valuable support and help for Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, for which Lankans are deeply grateful.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa added that he appreciates the vision put forward by President Xi Jinping, of building a community with a shared future for mankind and agrees on supporting the WHO in playing a leading role in global anti-epidemic cooperation.

The Lankan Head of State said Sri Lanka is willing to work with China to enhance exchanges and cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, tourism and infrastructure, and smoothly push forward major Belt and Road cooperation projects such as Colombo Port City, adding that Sri Lanka also welcomes more investment and cooperation with Chinese enterprises.

(Source: News Radio)

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