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Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10.27 GMT
Sri Lanka-China friendship elevated to “strategic cooperation,” Chinese VP tells President Rajapaksa


The Sri Lanka-China relationship has been elevated from one of friendship to one of “strategic cooperation,” said Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon in China’s Shaanxi Province.

At the end of what he called “very successful bilateral talks and visit,” Vice President Yuanchao said China will continue to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka and to expand cooperation into new sectors in what he described as an equal partnership.

President Rajapaksa thanked China for its support in Sri Lanka’s development and expressed gratitude for backing the country at various international and regional fora, demonstrating commitment to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

The President also said Sri Lanka is inspired by China’s rapid economic development and eco-friendly economic policies and assured the Chinese Vice President that Sri Lanka remains committed to the “one China policy” that it has maintained for years.

While urging China to further open up the Chinese market to Sri Lankan products, President Rajapaksa made a request to Vice President Yuanchao to look into lowering the price of Sri Lankan tea in the Chinese market. The President observed that the prices appear to be high and that lower prices could make it more accessible to more Chinese consumers.

With regard to tourism promotion, Vice President Yuanchao promised to encourage Chinese tourists to visit Sri Lanka. Referring to the South Asian nation as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” he said that during the war, tourists were scared to visit Sri Lanka, but that is not the case anymore since terrorism was eradicated under the strong leadership of President Rajapaksa.

While President Rajapaksa renewed his invitation to the Chinese leadership to visit Sri Lanka, Vice President Yuanchao also invited Parliamentarian Mr. Namal Rajapaksa to lead a youth delegation to China.

Others present at the discussion were Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena, Ministers Mr. Wimal Weerawansa and Mr. Douglas Devananda, Parliamentarian Mr. A.H.M. Azwer, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Chief-of-Staff Mr. Gamini Senerath and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China Mr. Ranjith Uyangoda were also present.






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Last modified: May 30, 2013.

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