China calls for more “strategic cooperative partnerships” with Sri Lanka.
Daily FT: Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee International Department Vice Minister Chen Zhou recently reiterated support for Sri Lanka and called for further strengthening of mutually beneficial strategic cooperative partnerships between the two friendly countries.
Chen made this observation during his remarks at a briefing on the CPC’s 20th National Congress held in October last year for representatives of dozens of political parties, friendship associations, scholars and media at the Shangri La, Colombo. China’s Acting Ambassador Hu Wei was also present.
He said that China will work with all parties of Sri Lanka to help the country prosper as a development partner. It was also stressed that CPC stands ready to boost exchanges and cooperation with political parties and organisations of other countries based on the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Chen identified the Hambantota International Port and the Colombo Port City as priority investments under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and joint efforts were required to fully maximise the benefits from these ventures.
Acknowledging China’s empathy to on-going challenges faced by Sri Lanka, Chen also announced a donation of 1,000 portable solar generators to all political parties. A symbolic donation was made at the event yesterday. He likened China’s gesture similar to when Sri Lanka came forward for the Rubber-Rice pact in the early 1950s between the two countries.
Chen also shared some of the key highlights of the outcome of the CPC’s 20th National Congress at which President Xi Jinping was re-elected as Party’s General Secretary. China’s impressive socio-economic achievements during the past decade was also shared among Sri Lankan participants.
They included taking 100 million Chinese out of poverty, increasing China’s share in the global economy by 7.2% to 18.5%, growing China’s economy from 54 trillion RMB to 114 trillion RMB; increasing the per capita income from 39,800 RMB to 81,000 RMB. With $ 6.9 trillion in trade, China is also the leading trading partner for 140 countries.
All these achievements had been possible due to reforms and opening up of China along with pragmatic and progressive policies.
At the 20th National Congress, President Xi announced a raft of new measures to make China a great modern socialist country in all respects. The emphasis is building further on “socialism with Chinese characteristics” which has bolstered China to become an economic super-power.
Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties with China also holding a prominent position as Sri Lanka’s development agenda. The Chinese are one of Sri Lanka’s main development partners. Sri Lanka is also on the expansion path with the aim of becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country also help boost the business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The prominence given to Sri Lanka by China is evident by the key position given the the island in Sri Lanka’s belt and road initiative (BRI). Given all these aspects, Chinese businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. They could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses with the aim of further expansion locally and internationally.
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