Sri Lanka’s newly elected president upbeat of ties with China

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Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena is upbeat of continued relations with China that have reached new heights since the end of a three-decade war, the Chinese embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

Sirisena had met with Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao and assured him of continued cooperation between the two countries.    

He had thanked the ambassador for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message on assuming leadership and recalled Xi’s “very successful” state visit last September.

“The new government together with China will implement the outcomes of this state visit on the existing basis, strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and push forward the development of SL-China relations,” the embassy statement said.

Ambassador Wu congratulated Sirisena and spoke highly of the important contributions he made to promote bilateral ties over these years.

“Sri Lanka and China are traditional friendly neighbors, are sincere partners proven. China has always attached great importance to bilateral ties and will continue to promote the development of China-Sri Lanka’s strategic partnership,” Wu had said at the meeting.

Relations between Sri Lanka and China reached a historic high under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Since the end of a three decade war in 2009 Rajapaksa launched massive development projects including multiple highways, ports, an international airport and a 1.2 billion US dollar coal power plant.

During the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping to Sri Lanka in September 2014 around 27 additional agreements were signed. Total cost of these projects are estimated to be north of 5 billion US dollars.

Rajapaksa was voted out of power in presidential elections on January 8. (Xinhua)

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