China offers to make Sri Lanka economically independent

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) – Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vows to help Sri Lanka become economically independent by further strengthening already strong bilateral relations.

China has offered to help Sri Lanka become economically independent and look after the latter’s interests.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that Sri Lanka was geographically placed in a most strategic location and as a result, the country had to face numerous geo-political challenges. He said that the only way to overcome them was to be economically strong so that economic independence would ensure the country’s political independence.

Minister Yi, in his response, said that China, as it always done, in the past, would be Sri Lanka’s longtime partner in prosperity and growth. He noted that China’s policy towards Sri Lanka had always been consistent, and China would continue to be Sri Lanka’s reliable friend.

The Foreign Minister of China, who was on a brief visit to Sri Lanka, said that after in-depth discussions he had had with President Rajapaksa he was confident that already existing strong bilateral relations could be further strengthened.

Minister Yi pledged: "As Sri Lanka’s strategic partner China will continue to standby Sri Lanka’s interests. China stands for the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. We will not allow any outside influences to interfere with matters that are essentially internal concerns of Sri Lanka."

President Rajapaksa warmly reciprocated the visiting Minister’s goodwill and wishes. The President revealed that he was an admirer of President Xi Jinping and that he had followed his speeches and statements closely. He also stated that some of President’s Xi’s policies especially on poverty alleviation had been incorporated into his policy programme. He thanked Minister Yi for the invitation to visit China.

"Sri Lanka may be a small country but will soon be strong economically. China will be with Sri Lanka in its striving to reach this goal,"Minister Yi assured.

The Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan, Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, Vice Chairman of China International Development and Cooperation Agency Zhou Liujun, Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, honorary adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Additional Secretary to the President on International Relations Admiral Jayanath Colombage were also present during the discussion.

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