Sri Lanka to strengthen ‘special friendship’ with China
February 7, 2015 02:33 pm
Describing the bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka as a ‘special friendship,’ Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his desire to closely engage with the Chinese Government.
The Special Envoy of the Government of China, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Liu Jianchao undertook an official visit to Sri Lanka from 5 to 7 February 2015. During the visit, the Chinese Special Envoy paid calls on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
The visiting dignitary held bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
“The discussions focused on issues of mutual interest covering bilateral political, economic, development cooperation and people-to-people contacts,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Special Envoy conveyed the warm greetings of President Xi Jinping and the Government of China to President Sirisena and emphasized the continuity of the close friendship and engagement with Sri Lanka, reinforced by the exchange of high-level visits.
President Sirisena warmly welcomed the Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, and reiterated Sri Lanka’s time-tested bonds of friendship and cooperation with China, nurtured over the years. “He pledged Sri Lanka’s support for the further consolidation of friendly relations between the two countries.”
“Describing the bilateral relations as a ‘special friendship’ Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed his desire to closely engage with the Chinese Government,” it said.
Special Envoy Liu Jianchao extended an invitation from President Xi Jinping to President Sirisena to undertake a State visit to China in March. Foreign Minister Samaraweera is scheduled to pay an official visit to China in the latter part of February on the invitation of the Chinese Government.
The Special Envoy was accompanied by a 10-member delegation, including senior officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.