China Sri Lanka bilateral relations to continue even if Govt. changes

Bringing a sigh of relief to the ailing tourism industry, Sri Lanka Ambassador for China Dr. Palitha Kohona said that China tourism will open its doors to Sri Lanka soon.

“It is expected that China will ease its C-19 related travel restrictions in the coming months.”

Addressing the Asian Marine Tourism Conference 2022 in Ningbo, China, the Ambassador made a ringing call for Chinese tourists to visit Sri Lanka and enjoy its unmatched range of attractions.

“We have also explored the potential of Chinese cruise tourism as three million Chinese undertake cruise holidays annually.

Dr. Kohona said he discussed the potential for Chinese cruise ships to visit Sri Lanka with the Vice President of the Chinese Cruise and Yacht Federation. Dr. Kohona earlier requested the China Asia Economic Development Association Urban Cooperation Committee (CAEDA UCC) to establish Sri Lanka national pavilions, both online and offline, as part of the overall efforts to promote Sri Lanka products. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Global Times reporters Lin Xiaoyi and Li Xuanmin (GT), Dr Kohona emphasized his confidence that bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka would not be affected by a change in government.

Whoever takes over the government after an election will continue to maintain the confidence of the Chinese government as well as the goodwill of the Chinese people. There’s good understanding between the leadership of the two countries. The relationship between China and Sri Lanka is based on a very solid foundation. We have developed a strategic cooperative partnership and China is our biggest trading partner and the major investor. Hopefully the new government will adhere to these fundamentals and maintain the relationship as it is now.

In contrast to the fact that Sri Lanka had not reached any initial agreements with its largest creditors such as the IMF, the ambassador noted that China’s practical humanitarian assistance has been “very helpful.”

“Many Western media outlets also called the Hambantota Port a “debt trap” project. This is a gross exaggeration.

The funding received from the Chinese lessee of the port was not used to repay the China loans, but was used to repay other loans from other lenders who are not Chinese,” Dr. Kohona added.

“Another thing to remember is that we now find a large number of ships actually using the port.” Sri Lanka owes only 10 % of its debt to China, and not all of it is due immediately. At the moment, only $1 billion is due to China this year.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

, Business, ,

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post