Xi Jinping Meets with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka

On May 16, 2017, President Xi Jinping met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka, who was in China for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).

Xi Jinping pointed out that China's friendly policy towards Sri Lanka is a long-term strategic choice. 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka as well as the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Rice for Rubber. Attaching great importance to developing its relations with Sri Lanka, China supports the country's efforts in safeguarding national unity, peace and national reconciliation, and promoting economic development. China is willing to, together with Sri Lanka, carry forward the friendship between both sides, and elevate China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership to new stages.

Xi Jinping stressed that in order to push forward China-Sri Lanka relations, both sides should take high-level exchanges as the lead to enhance top-level design and policy communication on the development of bilateral relations, and coordinate stances on global issues of common interests. The two sides should consider major projects cooperation as guide, advance cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, ocean and aviation, in a bid to realize facilities connectivity. Both sides should take the construction of China-Sri Lanka free trade as an opportunity to promote a balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade, accelerate investment facilitation, and achieve unimpeded trade, financial integration. The two sides should also take the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations to enhance people-to-people bonds. China stands ready to, together with Sri Lanka, strengthen exchanges and communication in such fields as youth, think tanks, colleges and universities, media, religion, tourism and local affairs, in a bid to constantly expand the public opinion foundation of bilateral friendship.

Ranil Wickremesinghe extended congratulations on the just concluded BRF, which had gained active participations of many countries and international financial institutions, achieving fruitful results. Sri Lanka is committed to consolidating the traditional friendship with China and deepening bilateral cooperation in various areas. The country welcomes China's increased participation in Sri Lanka's industrialization process, and infrastructure construction in particular. Sri Lanka stands ready to make joint efforts with China to smoothly advance the projects of the Hambantota Port and the Colombo Port City. The country is willing to make the best use of its location advantage to make contributions to the "Belt and Road" construction.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the meeting.

(From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China)