By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): China reiterated that as the country of “Rising Sun ”, it will continue to assist Sri Lanka to successfully overcome the social economic issues and to develop the country addressing present economic woes.
Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong has assured that China, a longstanding ally of Sri Lanka, will always stand by the island nation’s sovereignty and its political and socioeconomic development.
Weidong called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple Trees today (30 May), during which he assured that China will increase investments in several areas, including agriculture, trade and commerce and ports and infrastructure development.
Moreover, he also noted that China will continue to provide economic assistance, while also supporting Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring programme.
The Vice Minister also expressed his deep appreciation to Sri Lanka’s adherence to the One China Policy, despite pressures from many quarters.
Meanwhile, speaking on the shared Buddhist relations between the nations, Vice Minister Weidong revealed that China has taken the required measures to establish a strong cooperation with Sri Lankan Buddhist associations, furthering their religious ties.
Premier Gunawardena expressed his gratitude towards the Chinese Government, for the help extended during both natural calamities such as the Tsunami and the COVID -19 pandemic, and the ongoing economic crisis.
Speaking with regards to the humanitarian and medical aid received during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister acknowledged, with gratitude, the various shipments of the Sinopharm vaccine, medical masks, COVID-19 test kits and other related equipment sent to battle the pandemic, which, according to Gunawardena, further strengthened the solidarity between the two countries.
Referring to the recent visit of the Governor of the Yunnan Province, Gunawardena also expressed confidence that the fruitful discussions held during the visit in question would enhance cooperation in the agriculture sector, adding that China could invest in agricultural projects.
Both sides agreed to enhance their cooperation in the fields of transport, power and other infrastructure, industrial parks, and manufacturing industry etc.
Sri Lanka announced the resumption of work of the Colombo Port City Project and expressed the willingness to facilitate and support the implementation of this project and to cooperate with Chinese companies to promote major projects.
The two countries agreed to hold the third round of the China-Sri Lanka Free Trade negotiations as early as possible and work towards concluding the negotiations at an early date with a view to enhancing the bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
The two sides agreed to build on the previous work on a China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement by negotiating a trade agreement which would include economic cooperation, trade in goods and services and investment.