Oct 11, Colombo: China announced Sunday that it was providing a 600 million RMB Yuan ($89.6 million) grant assistance to Sri Lanka for the well-being of Sri Lankan people.
The announcement by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo comes two days after a seven-member high level Chinese delegation led by former Chinese Foreign Minister and current member of the Communist Party Political Bureau Yang Jiechi visited the island nation and met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of China and the Government of Sri Lanka, providing 600 million RMB yuan (LKR 16.5 billion) in grant assistance, was signed on October 9th by Wang Xiaotao, Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and S.R. Attygalle, Treasury Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka, on the sidelines of Yang Jiechi’s visit to the island nation, the Embassy said in a media statement.
“Both President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa extended their sincere appreciation on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government and people to the Chinese side for this urgently-needed assistance,” the statement said.
According to the embassy, the timely grant, mutually agreed by both sides will be utilized with a high priority on medical care, education and water supply etc. in rural areas of Sri Lanka, so as to contribute to the well-beings of the Sri Lankan people in a post-COVID era.
During the meeting between Yang Jiechi and Prime Minister Rajapaksa, other Chinese grant projects such as the National Nephrology (Kidney Disease) Hospital in Polonnaruwa and the new Out-Patient Department (OPD) of National Hospital in Colombo were also reviewed and both sides have expressed their satisfaction on the good progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy said.
During discussions with the Chinese delegation on Friday (October 9), President Rajapaksa dismissed the perception that China-funded megaprojects are “debt traps” and requested China’s assistance to increase trade and investment with Sri Lanka to boost economy and bring about development to raise the living conditions of the people.
Responding to the President, the Chinese leader has assured that China’s assistance will not be just lip service but concrete action to achieve the development goals contained in the government’s “Vision of Prosperity” policy statement.
Meeting with Prime Minister Rajapaksa on the same day, the head of the Chinese delegation assured to assistance to revive the island nation’s tourism industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage Chinese companies to invest in Sri Lanka, especially in the China-funded Colombo Port City.