The first visit to Sri Lanka of President Xi Jinping of China saw an abundance of Chinese generosity in assistance offered to Sri Lanka in many areas of development, marking a new phase of strengthened friendship between the two countries.
The areas of assistance covered the deepening of the strategic cooperative partnership, negotiation for the China - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, wide ranging technical cooperation between the two countries and maritime cooperation emphasizing on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route where Sri Lanka would be a hub of development.
The Chinese President said that the new Maritime Silk Route proposed by China and the Mahinda Chinthana vision were cut out for each other and would be most conducive for development of Sri Lanka, especially in port construction and development, expansion of the maritime economy and ensuring maritime security. There was also an agreement on China - Sri Lanka Coastal and Marine Joint Research and Development.
The two leaders discussed many areas of possible close cooperation including support for Chinese naval vessels in Sri Lanka, carrying out joint naval exercises for common areas of maritime safety, expanding military assistance to Sri Lanka including training of military personnel, providing of a coastal patrol vessel and cooperation on JF17 jets.
Matters covered included widening of civil aviation facilities between the two countries and strong Chinese support to encourage arrival of Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka. President Xi said there are 100 million out bound tourists from China each year. They are spread in South East Asia and very soon they will be coming to South Asia and it will be a great opportunity for Sri Lanka with good promotion of her many attractions.
After commissioning the Phase 3 of Lakvijaya power plant at Norochcholai with President Mahinda Rajapkasa, President Xi said this would change the power supply landscape of Sri Lanka enabling the country to supply quality power at a reasonable rate to all parts of the country.
Thanking the Chinese President for the assistance provided to Sri Lanka to increase the energy capacity, President Rajapaksa announced that with the full commissioning of Norochcholai, the power capacity will increase by 900 megawatts, raising the total to 3900 megawatts and said the Government would reduce the electricity tariff by 25 percent with immediate effect.
Taking into consideration the satisfactory energy capacity, PresidentRrajapaksa also announced the reduction of the price of kerosene, petrol and diesel by Rs 20, Rs 5 and Rs 3 per liter respectively.
Visiting Chinese President Xi Jingping agreed to assist Sri Lanka’s economic development in many spheres stating that Sri Lanka is a close and trusted friend. He said wants to strengthen friendly bonds and cooperation to enable our strategic partnership for betterment of our people.
Chinese President Xi expressed his appreciation to President Rajapaksa for ‘the considerable economic development achieved during the last ten years under his leadership’.
He said China is ready to train astronauts from Sri Lankan in this new area of progress for youth.
President Xi agreed to assist Sri Lanka’s economic development in many spheres stating that Sri Lanka is a close and trusted friend. He said China wants to strengthen friendly bonds and cooperation to enable our strategic partnership to foster for the betterment of our people.