Written by Zulfick Farzan
09 Oct, 2020 | 4:01 pm
Colombo (News 1st); A high-powered Chinese delegation led by former Chinese Foreign Minister and the current Communist Party Political Bureau Member Yang Jiechi had conveyed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fostering and further developing the relations between Sri Lanka and China is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s priority.
The delegation, during a meeting with President Rajapaksa on Friday (09) said China will continue to stand by Sri Lanka and its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity at all international fora including the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The delegation led by the former Chinese Foreign Minister had assured President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, China would continue its assist Sri Lanka to achieve success in its development drive.
Communist Party Political Bureau Member Yang Jiechi conveyed President Xi Jinping’s wishes to President Rajapaksa on the General Election win and added, he visited Sri Lanka with a Chinese delegation 35 years ago as a translator.
Noting Sri Lanka is his first stop in his four-nation visit, the Former Chinese Foreign Minister said the Chinese President has made it a priority to further develop bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressing his pleasure towards the present state of Sri Lanka – China relations, noted China is a longstanding friend of the island nation despite changes in government.
The President noting China contributed towards multiple large-scale infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka said the Hambantota Port was a Sri Lankan concept and China stepped forward to fund the program.
He said though many geopolitical experts claim the project placed Sri Lanka in China’s Debt Trap, the project in fact attributes to the upliftment of the living standards of the people and sought China’s assistance to do so.
Communist Party Political Bureau Member Yang Jiechi said China is prepared to assist in realizing the development objections mentioned in the President’s National Policy Framework Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, through action and not by words alone.
He said plans are afoot to re-commence negotiation on the China – Sri Lanka Freed Trade Agreement and to expedite the proposed Hambantota Industrial Zone Project.
Communist Party Political Bureau Member Yang Jiechi said he hopes President Rajapaksa would make an official visit to China after the COVID-19 pandemic is successfully controlled.
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