A meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and Member of the State Council Wang Yi, and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was held at the Presidential Secretariat, today (09) further strengthening the 65 years of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
Warmly welcoming the Chinese Foreign Minister, President Rajapaksa recalled the historic close ties between the two countries. The President extended his sincere gratitude on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and its people to the Chinese Foreign Minister for the material and financial assistance received from China in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
Recalling the profound friendship between the two countries, Mr. Wang Yi said that he was pleased to be back in Sri Lanka and said that China would always support Sri Lanka as a close friend.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Government for its continued support in providing Sinopharm vaccines to Sri Lanka in order to successfully implement the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Sri Lanka opened up again to foreign tourists under new normalization. The President requested Mr. Wang Yi to assist in attracting Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka under the bio-bubble concept.
The President pointed out that it would be a great relief to the country if the attention could be paid on restructuring the debt repayments as a solution to the economic crisis that has arisen in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President also said that if a concessional trade credit scheme could be initiated for imports from China, it would enable the industries to operate smoothly.
Minister Wang Yi extended an invitation to the President to visit China and expressed confidence that the visit would take place in the near future.
Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong, Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao, Vice Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency Zhang Maoyu, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage were also present.