Sri Lanka, China vow to enhance pragmatic cooperation

Chinese State Councillor and National Defence Minister Wei Fenghe saluting the island nation a few minutes before leaving the country.

Chinese State Councillor and National Defence Minister Wei Fenghe left Sri Lanka yesterday morning (29) following his two-day official visit.

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka issuing a statement on the visit said that Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors between the two countries including the military. The pledge came after Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met visiting Chinese State Councillor and National Defence Minister Wei Fenghe.

During the meeting, the Sri Lankan President, who is also the Defence Minister, thanked China for providing long-term and precious support to Sri Lanka and hoped to learn the governing experience from the Communist Party of China on poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, among others.

Noting that Sri Lanka has prioritised developing the relations with China and firmly supported China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, the President said that Sri Lanka has been pursuing an independent foreign policy and will never bends to pressure from major powers outside the region and never forge an alliance with any country. Closely following the pragmatic cooperation in the military field between the two countries, the President hoped that the two militaries will carry out closer exchanges to further lift the level of pragmatic cooptation.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister said that Wei and his delegation visited Sri Lanka at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still not contained, demonstrating that China attaches great importance to developing the ties with Sri Lanka.

Hailing China for its achievements made in the pandemic prevention and control, economic development and poverty alleviation, the Prime Minister thanked China for providing unselfish help to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka will always be a sincere friend to China and will firmly support China’s position on safeguarding its own core interests, the Prime Minister said.

Sri Lanka stands ready to strengthen exchanges and pragmatic cooperation with China in various fields including the military, so as to achieve further growth of the bilateral ties, he added.

Wei said that China and Sri Lanka enjoy a long history of friendship with deep bilateral relations. The two countries are jointly working for the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road, Wei said, pointing out that they share a bright prospect of development.

The Chinese side appreciates Sri Lanka’s position on issues relating to China’s Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang and will as always support Sri Lanka’s stance over issues relating to human rights and national reconciliation, Wei said.

Noting the long-lasting friendship between the two militaries, Wei called on the two sides to further deepen cooperation and promote relations between the two militaries.

Peaceful development and win-win cooperation is the global trend and the right way forward, Wei said, adding that certain major countries are keen to form cliques and factions and seek regional hegemony, which goes against people’s shared aspiration and severely harms the interests of the regional countries. China appreciates Sri Lanka’s independent and non-aligned policy and will make joint efforts with Sri Lanka to strengthen coordination and safeguard regional peace and tranquility.

Wei also held talks with Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne and jointly launched a website of the Chinese National Defence University Alumni Association of Sri Lanka.


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