Sept 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka and China today reaffirmed their commitment to the strategic cooperation between the two countries when a high ranking Chinese political leader called on the Sri Lankan President Tuesday.
Political Bureau Member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Liu Yunshan called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's House this morning.
During the discussion the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to the strategic cooperation that was agreed upon during President Rajapaksa's state visit to China earlier this year, President's Media Unit said in a release.
President Rajapaksa, while thanking China for its long-term support to Sri Lanka, said the two countries should act quickly to implement the agreements that were agreed upon during his visit to China in May 2013.
During his visit to Beijing , President Rajapaksa held bilateral discussions with China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang who said that the long-standing friendship between the two countries has reached the level of strategic cooperation.
Liu Yunshan informed President Rajapaksa that the purpose of his first visit to Sri Lanka is to implement the agreements, thereby expanding cooperation between the two countries. He said the Government of China is "always grateful to the Government of Sri Lanka for the support."
"I can feel the profound friendship the Sri Lankan people have towards Chinese people," Liu observed.
Liu said that the signing of a free trade agreement will bring economic cooperation between the two countries to a higher level and that the economic development is presenting very good momentum for cooperation in other sectors such as culture, science and technology.
Conveying the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Liu expressed the Chinese government's appreciation for President Rajapaksa's attendance at the 2013 International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) Special Conference that took place in Shaanxi Province in May. Noting that inter-party relations are an important part of inter-state relations, Liu said the CPC places importance in its relations with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka and China signed three agreements related to the fields of education, mass media and culture when the visiting Chinese leader met with the Sri Lanka's Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne yesterday.
Under the agreement related to the field of education China will provide modern technological equipment including computers and televisions. International level television programs will also be produced by China regarding Sri Lanka under another agreement to promote tourism.
During the meeting, Liu said a number of Chinese investors are interested in the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.
A high-level delegation accompanied Liu, including several vice ministers of the CPC Central Committee and China's Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao.
Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella, Nimal Siripala de Silva, and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, MP A.H.M. Azwer, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama and Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China Mr. Ranjith Uyangoda were also present.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)