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‘Belt & Road initiative benefits world’

BPAFFC delegation leader Xu Jinxiu. Picture by Priyan De Silva.

“The Belt & Road initiative may be China’s idea but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world,” Cultural Division Director at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Liu Dong said at the opening of the Belt & Road Painting Exhibition at the J. D. A. Perera Gallery of the University of Visual and Performing Arts in Horton Place, Colombo on July 23 morning.

One hundred and two paintings specially selected from over 750 award winning work of art by teenagers living in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and Sri Lanka are on display until July 25. The exhibition is hosted by the Association for Sri Lanka China Social and Cultural Corporation.

Liu Dong said China and Sri Lanka were good neighbours and important countries along the maritime Silk Route. It was not only a road of trade but also a road of friendship, featuring peace, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win corporation which have linked China and Sri Lanka closely and has been a bond of friendly exchange between the people of the two nations, he said.

“This year marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the One Belt and One Road initiative by President Xi Jinping.Over the past five years, over 80 countries and international organisations have signed corporate agreement with china. Sri Lanka is among the first countries to support the One Belt and One Road initiative through a government statement.” he said.

Following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the initiative encourages partner countries and others to combine comparative advantages, narrow development gaps, accelerate regional integration and achieve common development and prosperity by promoting the connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people.

“China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others. As President Xi said, “It is not a solo for China itself but a real chorus comprising all countries along the route,” he said.

He said China had said it had entered a new era. The Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China is making great efforts to realize the two century goals which are to build a moderately prosperous society in all respect by 2020 and to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by middle of the century. China will continue to follow a path of peaceful development, to presume a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up to uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, to seek innovative and inclusive development that benefits everyone, safeguard world peace and contributes to global development.

“China and Sri Lanka are good neighbours, good friends and good partners. China’s friendly policy towards Sri Lanka has never changed and will not change in the future. Our friendship is built on a profound and broad popular basis and time tested. China will never peruse development interests at the expense of Sri Lanka,” he said.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Visual and Performing Arts Prof. Sarath Chandrajeewa said Art and Music were a universal language and was honoured that the exhibition was held at the University.

Beijing Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (BPAFFC) President Xu Jinyu said that although there were many differences between the Chinese and Sri Lankan languages and cultures, painting was a unique language of art communication which bring them together. She said the paintings expressed the understanding of the teenagers of both countries of the Belt and Road initiative and their good longing for the friendship between China and Sri Lanka.

“I hope the exhibition will convey our sincere friendship to the people of Sri Lanka and further enhance the mutual understanding of the people of China and Sri Lanka,” she said.

Association for Sri Lanka China Social and Cultural Cooperation President Indrananda Abeysekera, 11-year-old Zhou Yiping, who won the first prize at the Belt & Road Painting Competition, and Sri Lankan schoolgirl Dilini Alwis, who was privileged to participate at the Belt & Road painting exhibition held in Beijing spoke.