|Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Meets with Wang Yi|
On January 9, 2022 local time, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who was paying an official visit to Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Gotabaya asked Wang Yi to convey his cordial greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping. Gotabaya thanked China for its timely assistance when Sri Lanka faces difficulties, and expressed his gratitude to China for its strong support for Sri Lanka's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its effective control of the pandemic. He appreciated the important contributions made by Chinese enterprises to Sri Lanka's economic revitalization and infrastructure construction. Sri Lanka is willing to work with China to hold a series of events marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and China and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, and strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, trade, finance, tourism and infrastructure, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Wang Yi first conveyed President Xi Jinping's cordial greetings. Wang Yi said, this year is an important year for both China and Sri Lanka to commemorate. The most important historical experience of the long-standing friendly exchanges between the two countries is that both sides have always adhered to the principle of mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual support. 70 years ago, China and Sri Lanka, two newly born countries, overcame difficulties and obstacles and signed the Rubber-Rice Pact, opening the door for friendly exchanges, demonstrating our national spirit in the fight against hegemony and power politics, and breaking the Cold War isolation imposed by the West based on ideology. The spirit of the pact characterized by independence, self-reliance, unity and mutual support is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples and reflected in the entire process of the development of bilateral relations. It is still of great practical significance and worth our further inheritance and promotion.
Wang Yi said, China has been playing a constructive role in the global fight against the pandemic. One out of every two doses of vaccines injected around the world is the Chinese vaccine. China will continue to offer vaccines and medical supplies to Sri Lanka according to its needs, and is willing to work together with Sri Lanka to explore cooperation on specific medicines for COVID-19. The two sides should make good use of the two engines, Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port flagship projects, tap the opportunities of the enforcement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and China's vast market, and discuss the restart of talks on a free trade agreement between China and Sri Lanka to send more positive signals to the world and contribute to Sri Lanka's economic recovery and development. China encourages competent Chinese enterprises to invest and develop in Sri Lanka.
Before the meeting, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Wang Yi and jointly attended the signing ceremony of the bilateral cooperation document. After the meeting, Gotabaya, Mahinda and Wang Yi attended the launching ceremony of the celebrations marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact.
On the same day, Wang Yi also met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris.