- Port City & Hambantota port projects to be expedited …
- Continuous support to Sri Lanka in international fora …
- President reinvited to visit China
In a telephone conversation yesterday (29), President Gotabya Rajapaksa and the President of China Xi Jinping agreed to strengthen and enhance mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in all fields.
The Chinese President stated that the Government of China will continue to support in achieving sustainable development goals of Sri Lanka and will stand firm with Sri Lanka in the face of the unjust pressure it faces in the multilateral arena.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who spoke to his Chinese counterpart from the Presidential Secretariat expressed his heartfelt gratitude to President Xi Jinping and the government of China for extending their fullest support to Sri Lanka at the recently concluded 46th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC). President Rajapaksa also thanked for donating 6, 00,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka.
The Chinese leader began the conversation offering his best wishes for the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year and said that even though COVID-19 pandemic was a formidable challenge, it helped to take the China-Sri Lanka relations to a new height.
“The Port City of Colombo and the Port of Hambantota are two major projects that have great potential to contribute to the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. We hope to see them completed soon. The port city will help greatly to expand foreign investment opportunities. It is also a solution to the issue of unemployment, “said the Chinese President.
President Rajapaksa noted that the Hambantota Port and other infrastructure development projects are progressing satisfactorily and requested the Chinese Government to complete the remaining work on the project expeditiously.
President Rajapaksa said he intends to do what is necessary for the prosperity and development of Sri Lanka during the remaining four years of his tenure. “Poverty alleviation is our primary objective. For that, we can follow the example of China,” he remarked.
The Chinese leader expressing his willingness to support the poverty alleviation programmes in Sri Lanka, said that in the past few years, 9 million people in his country have been lifted out of poverty.
Recalling his visit to Sri Lanka in 2014, Xi Jinping said that he would like to see President Rajapaksa undertaking a state visit to China as soon as possible.
President Rajapaksa said that he was unable to visit China as scheduled due to the COVID-19 epidemic and added that he wished to visit China at a mutually convenient time.
The Chinese President emphasizing the need to further enhance the strategic approach to China-Sri Lanka relations with visible results pointed out the importance of developing people to people relations between the two countries.
During the phone call with the Chinese leader, President Rajapaksa appreciated the currency swap facility provided by the People’s Bank of China to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and said that it would definitely help to ensure the financial stability of Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa, who sought China’s continued support for the establishment of a Technical University in Hambantota as a symbol of Sri Lanka-China friendship, congratulated China on the 100th anniversary of founding of Chinese Communist Party (CCP). – PMD