President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
During the bilateral discussions, both leaders pledged to further consolidate the strong partnership and extensive cooperation between Sri Lanka and China.
Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang expressed profound gratitude for Sri Lanka’s enduring support through the historic Rubber-Rice Pact with the People’s Republic of China when he met President Wickremesinghe yesterday (19).
Emphasizing that the Chinese people will always remember this gesture of goodwill, Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang assured that China remains committed to extending its supportive hand to Sri Lanka.
Reaffirming China’s unwavering support for the development of the Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port within the framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, the Chinese Vice Premier expressed confidence in the successful realization of both projects under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
President Wickremesinghe underscored the historical significance of the China-Sri Lanka Rubber-Rice Agreement, the first foreign commercial agreement entered into by Sri Lanka. He underscored the importance of establishing new commercial relations that align with the shared principles of both nations.
The President expressed deep appreciation for China’s invaluable support in the face of the economic challenges confronting Sri Lanka. He emphasized the enduring and strengthened friendship between Sri Lanka and China, particularly under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.
He also emphasized Sri Lanka’s commitment to preserving the identity and peace of the Indian Ocean region, advocating for the prevention of any power struggles in the area.
President Wickremesinghe further highlighted Sri Lanka’s aspiration to enter into a free trade agreement with China. He also pointed out that Sri Lanka is actively pursuing membership in the Regional Economic Relations Organization (RCEP).