Bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka is at its best now and two nations will always have friendly sentiments for each other, Chairman of the National People's Congress of China, Wu Bangguo said.
The Chinese government always attaches great importance to further consolidate strong ties with Sri Lanka, he said during a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning.
"China is pleased at tremendous achievements by Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa," the NPC chairman said adding that China is confident Sri Lanka will score new achievements under the President.
The core feature of these historic relations between our two countries is the consolidated political relations between the high offices, he said.
Referring to President Rajapaksa's meeting with Chinese President and Prime Minister the NPC Chairman said face to face exchange of views of leaders helped to create a new impetus.
"Sri Lanka will continue to uphold the "One China Policy" which has been a consistent feature in our foreign policy," President Rajapaksa said.
We will continue to support China on every issue that affects her interest at regional and multilateral fora, he added.
President Rajapaksa suggested that bilateral review mechanism between two countries to be upgraded that of a Joint Commission on Scientific, Economic and Technical Co-operation co-chaired by the respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries.
While appreciating China's continuous support, both material and moral, for defeating the LTTE in order to bring peace to the country, the President said defence co-operation between our two countries has reached all-time high.
Assistance by the Chinese government has provided Sri Lanka with the competitive edge to develop as a commercial, knowledge, marine, aviation and energy hub providing more opportunities for Chinese investors to look towards Sri Lanka as an investment destination," President added.
"China has now become the largest single development partner of Sri Lanka, extending development assistance of over US$ 5 billion," President Rajapaksa added.
Pointing out trade imbalance between the two countries is an area of concern, the NPC chairman said his government will encourage Chinese companies to import more from Sri Lanka.
The government of China has reduced tariffs and fees for Sri Lankan businessmen and encourages the Sri Lankan investors to carry out business activities in China.
The NPC Chairman expressed China's readiness to share new advances in Chinese technology in high speed railway which already extends to 10,000 km in China, modern coal power generation with Sri Lanka.
He also said China is willing to share its knowledge in ocean and agricultural cooperation with research on the ocean and its natural resources for projects in the Indian Ocean to tackle the climate change.
He proposed to establish a China – Sri Lanka maritime cooperation centre and ocean monitoring mechanism.
China will always support Sri Lanka at international fora, such as UNHRC and also the moves for reforms at UN Security Council, he said.
The NPC Chairman agreed to the request by the President to upgrade Sri Lanka's status in Shanghai Cooperation Organization to an observer.
President Rajapaksa thanked the Chinese government for standing by Sri Lanka at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council and pledged Sri Lanka's support for China's candidature to the Human Rights Council for the period of 2014 – 2016.