Sri Lanka has a special place in the hearts of the Chinese people as the country helped China when new China was established, despite the embargo from western countries, Assistant Foreign Minister of China Liu Jianchao said.
These incidents happened in the early fifties but they are still fresh in the hearts of the Chinese people, the Assistant Foreign Minister said.
He added that China will focus on speeding up infrastructure development which includes ports and highways in Sri Lanka.
China is to focus on key development projects which will have a greater benefit for all Sri Lankans during the historic visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Sri Lanka in the middle of September, the Assistant Foreign Minister said.
The Chinese President will hold discussions on the City railway project and the construction of the Port city project and Hambantota phase II with the Sri Lankan authorities during his visit to the country.
The Assistant Minister made this announcement at a meeting with a group of journalists from Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Foreign Ministry premises yesterday.
“We hope that these projects will help in positive development in the country too. We want to promote more interaction between the people of China and Sri Lanka,” he stressed.
These projects will benefit the Sri Lankan people, he said. The Assistant Foreign Minister added that China expects to have closer cooperation with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in the future.
He was of the view that SAARC helps promote stability in the region. The cooperation between SAARC and China and the cooperation of SAARC countries with China will lead to the positive development of the region and its countries, he said.
The Assistant Foreign Minister added that the Chinese President’s visit to the region will promote more economic cooperation.
He added that China has a strong friendship with Sri Lanka and Pakistan and it wants to turn this friendship into concrete cooperation.
China will respect the sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka and it is supporting the country’s development too, he said. China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department Counsellor Yan Jiarong was also present.