China expresses more confidence in deepening strategic ties with Sri Lanka
China’s envoy in Sri Lanka has recently expressed greater confidence in China and Sri Lanka further deepening strategic ties with Sri Lanka.
Issuing a statement to mark the 72nd National Day of the People’s Republic of China, China’s Ambassador Qi Zhenhong stated, “The political and strategic mutual trust between China and Sri Lanka has reached a new height.”
“Bilateral trade increased 61% year-on-year in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, we have firmly supported each other in the international fora including human rights and COVID-19 origins-tracing, which has further deepened China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership,” Qi has said, adding, “We are very much proud when looking back, while we are even more confident forging ahead.”
Following is the full text of Chinese Ambassador’s statement:
“On the auspicious occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, I would like to wish our country prosperity and progress, our people health and happiness, and best regards to all of our Chinese fellow citizens working, studying and living in Sri Lanka! I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our Sri Lankan friends from all walks of life who have always been following and supporting the development of China and China-Sri Lanka relations!
“This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we have realised the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China. In the face of the severe challenges brought by COVID-19, we have made concerted and society-wide efforts, and achieved a major strategic outcome in fighting the pandemic. In the meantime, we are grounding our efforts in the new development stage, applying the new development philosophy, and creating a new pattern of development, as China’s GDP registers an increase of 12.7% and foreign trade grows 27.1% year-on-year in the first half of 2021.
“We have landed out first rover on Mars, broken the deep-sea sediment core retrieval record, successfully sent the astronauts to the newest space station, and won hundreds of medals in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The five-starred red flags being raised time after time makes all Chinese nationals deeply proud.
“We have taken up the responsibility and leadership as a major country, donating funds and supplies to help the international community fight the COVID-19 pandemic. China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. In addition to donating $ 100 million to COVAX, we will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year. In addition, China has been working with partner countries and overcame difficulties brought by the pandemic, to promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road. We also stand with the international community to altogether deal with common challenges, resolutely uphold the international fairness and justice, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
“This year 2021 is also an extraordinary one in the history of China-Sri Lanka relations. President Xi Jinping and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have provided new strategic guidance for the further deepening of China-Sri Lanka relations through several phone calls and correspondence. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa virtually attended same international forum together. Chairman of Chinese NPC Li Zhanshu and Speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena held a fruitful online meeting, while the two countries’ foreign, defence, commercial chiefs also maintained close communication. The political and strategic mutual trust between China and Sri Lanka has reached a new height.
“In the past year, China has in total provided Sri Lanka 26 million doses of vaccines, numerous medical supplies, and billions of dollars as financial support to fight the epidemic and revitalise its economy. The two countries have made breakthroughs in mega projects such as Port City Colombo and Hambantota Port. The bilateral trade increased 61% year-on-year in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, we have firmly supported each other in the international fora including human rights and COVID-19 origins-tracing, which has further deepened China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership.
“We are very much proud when looking back, while we are even more confident forging ahead. The year 2022 will witness the historic moment of the CPC’s 20th National Congress, as well as the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact. Let’s work together and continue to contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and bring our bilateral relations to a new level. Long live the People’s Republic of China! Long live China-Sri Lanka friendship!”
Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties that will be further strengthened by the proposed free trade agreement (FTA). China is a key development partner in Sri Lanka’s development programme. Sri Lanka has also been placed prominently in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) thereby creating an ideal business/investment opportunity for Chinese businesses/investors. Chinese businesses could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka and engage with other countries using the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the island. Also, Chinese businesses could look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses.
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