China affirms its willingness to strengthen cooperation with Sri Lanka

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that China is willing to enhance cooperation with Sri Lanka as part of the Road and Road Initiative during a formal talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Tilak Marabana in Beijing on Monday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Wang noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Common Treaty on Rubber and Rice.

China hopes to seize this opportunity to deepen traditional friendship and mutual political trust with Sri Lanka, as well as to promote major infrastructure projects, investment, trade, maritime cooperation and public communication within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

Wang explained the major achievements of the Nineteenth National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), which ended on Tuesday, and said China welcomes Sri Lanka to join its path of openness and development and make joint efforts to build a better future for all.

Marabana congratulated China on holding the Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party, and Sri Lanka expressed its gratitude for China’s long support for its economic and social development.

He said Sri Lanka attaches great importance to its traditional friendship with China and looks forward to promoting bilateral cooperation in all fields.
After the meeting, the two sides exchanged letters of approval for a mutual legal assistance treaty.

In late July, Colombo signed an agreement with a Chinese state-owned company to operate the newly-built Hambantota port in the southeast, although the agreement raised protests from inside Sri Lanka and security concerns about the possibility that the port would be used by the Chinese army

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